Laser interferometers have long been used to probe fundamental physics phenomena, from disproving the existence of the theorized ether well over a hundred years ago to making the first direct detections of gravitational waves in recent years. Given the extraordinary measurement precision that can be achieved with the latest technological advances in laser interferometer design, they can now also be used for challenging questions in fundamental physics, such as searching for the potential quantization of spacetime , dark matter , and ultra-high frequency gravitational waves.
In our labs in Cardiff we are in the process of building the most sensitive table-top interferometer to date, including non-classical states of light such as squeezed light to improve sensitivity [1, 3]. Should you join our team, a potential project could be the development of our high-frequency data-acquisition system (which samples 8 channels with 500 Million samples per second each) and its data-analysis pipelines. These pipelines search for signs of quantization of spacetime, dark matter, and high-frequency gravitational waves. This unique precision experiment also provides exciting opportunities for working on other systems, such as adaptive optics that can be controlled with machine learning techniques, and adaptive interferometer feedback control and noise analysis techniques.
Our experiment is part of a collaboration of four experiments in the UK within the ‘Quantum-Enhanced Interferometry for New Physics’ Consortium. This gives many opportunities for you to learn in a wider scientific context and provides plenty of networking opportunities.
The typical academic requirement is a minimum of a 2:1 physics and astronomy or a relevant discipline.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS) (https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/international/english-language-requirements)
Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 1st October 2022.
Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages (https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/physics-and-astronomy) including:
• your academic CV
• a personal statement/covering letter
• two references, at least one of which should be academic
• Your degree certificates and transcripts to date.
In the "Research Proposal" section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project. You can apply for up to three of our advertised STFC projects by listing them in order of preference in the freetext area of the "Research Proposal" section of the online application form.
In the funding section, please select that you will not be self funding and write that the source of funding will be STFC.
Once the deadline for applications has passed we will review your application and advise your within a few weeks if you have been shortlisted for an interview.