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Quantum sensors for fundamental physics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

This theoretical project will produce the design principles for quantum sensors to tackle some of the most fundamental open problems in physics. Instances include the direct detection of dark matter, testing the validity of quantum mechanics in macroscopic systems, searching for time variation of fundamental constants, and the direct detection of gravitational waves from exotic sources. The principle underlying all of these quests is the precise sensing of physical quantities such as exquisitely small forces, phases, displacements and temperature.

The laws of quantum mechanics set the fundamental limit of precision sensing. Quantum metrology is the study and application of these fundamental limits. Quantum metrology, using ideas from quantum information science, is ushering in a new era of precision sensing. This spans the sensing of time, position, force, magnetic and electric fields, temperature and many other physical parameters with unprecedented precision. This project shall leverage the concepts and development underlying these recent advances to invent new routes for attacking open problems in fundamental physics.

This project will apply quantum metrology to physical systems such as atomic, optical, and opto-mechanical interferometers, and their performance in the real world. Each of these systems posses features that make them ideal for specific open problems. For instance, opto-mechanical systems with massive objects in quantum superpositions are ideal for testing the validity of quantum mechanics in macroscopic systems.

This project will thus combine ideas from quantum information science, quantum optics, quantum mechanics and quantum metrology to tackle some of most fascinating open problems in physics.

For more information about the Quantum Information Science Group at the University of Warwick, please see

Funding Notes

A full 3.5 year studentship for UK students (fees and maintenance) is available. Candidates should hold or expect to hold a 1st (or high 2.1) in Physics or related subject area.

The Physics department is proud to be an IOP Juno Champion and a winner of an Athena Swan Silver Award, reflecting our commitment to equal opportunity and to fostering an environment in which all can excel.


1. Magdalena Szczykulska, Tillmann Baumgratz, Animesh Datta, Multi-parameter quantum metrology, arXiv:1604.02615
2. Dominic Branford, Haixing Miao, Animesh Datta, Fundamental Quantum Limits of Multicarrier Optomechanical Sensors, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 110505 (2018)

How good is research at University of Warwick in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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