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Studying quantum motion using a vibrating carbon nanotube

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

Project Description

To predict the behaviour of a small particle, for example, an electron moving through a molecule, it is essential to use the concept of quantum superposition – the particle may traverse a superposition of multiple paths simultaneously. Such superposition states have been beautifully demonstrated for photons, atoms, and molecules, but it is an exciting open question of why larger objects do not show this behaviour.

We can address this question experimentally by studying the motion of mesoscopic objects containing millions of atoms. This project will make and measure vibrating carbon nanotubes, whose resonant frequencies are high enough that they can be cooled to their quantum ground state. We recently showed theoretically how to use an analogue of a grating interferometer to measure interference between different paths of motion. This project will use advanced cryogenic and nanofabrication technology at Lancaster to do the experiment.

The Physics Department is holder of Athena SWAN Silver award and JUNO Championship status and is strongly committed to fostering diversity within its community as a source of excellence, cultural enrichment, and social strength. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our department.

Please contact Dr Edward Laird () for any additional enquiries. You can also apply directly at stating the title of the project and the name of the supervisor.

Closing date
Applications will be accepted until the post is filled.

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded for UK/EU/Overseas students for 3.5 years.


“Displacemon electromechanics: how to detect quantum interference in a nanomechanical resonator”
K.E. Khosla et al. Physical Review X 8 21052 (2018)

“A coherent nanomechanical oscillator driven by single-electron tunnelling”
Yutian Wen et al. Nature Physics 16 75 (2020)

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