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PhD Studentship in ion based atomic clock research: building a portable prototype atomic clock system based on trapped calcium ions with a frequency uncertainty of better than 10-14

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Keller
  • Application Deadline
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  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

A 3.5 year PhD position is available in the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Ion based atomic clocks are currently the most precise systems with demonstrated fraction frequency uncertainties of less than 10-17. While these systems are viable candidates for primary frequency standards and therefore will potentially be used to re-define the second, these systems are very large and currently unsuitable to implement portable clocks.

This PhD project aims to build a portable prototype atomic clock system based on trapped calcium ions with a frequency uncertainty of better than 10-14. We aim to achieve a system which fits into a standard 19" rack module with low power consumption. To achieve this, we will tightly integrate all bulk optics for ion detection and laser delivery into the trapping electrode structure and design a fibre based laser system to generate all required laser beams.

Pigtailed GRIN lenses will facilitate the direct integration of the fibre output into the trapping structure. Similarly, the fibre based detection of the ion’s fluorescence will be tightly integrated into the trap electrodes.

The laser system design will be based on filter based optical feedback which inherently robust. All components to manipulate the lasers such as switches, frequency shifters and frequency doublers will be entirely fibre based. Thus, there won’t be any free-space components and thus, making it maintenance free with superior stability.

Type of award
Postgraduate Research

Award amount
£14057(2015-16) per annum tax-free bursary and waiver of UK/EU fees each year for 3.5 years.Full-time study

Eligibility
First class degree in Physics or a 2.1 degree with a Masters or equivalent non-UK qualifications.

Non-UK students must have English at IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, and Overseas students requiring a visa must have an English certificate.

The costs covered are for UK and EU student fees only of £4068 p.a. Overseas (ex-EU) students can apply but must have a plan for raising the addition sums required for the higher fees of £17850 p.a

Application procedure
Send your CV to Dr Matthias Keller at [email protected]

Timetable
Early application is advised. The studentship will be allocated as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

The expected start date at Sussex is 1st February 2016 although other starts dates may be negotiable.

Further information
This is a full-time studentship. With agreement of the supervisor the student may take on a limited amount of teaching, for which additional payment will be made.

The award includes an additional training grant of £1250 p.a. for short courses, books, travel, conferences etc.

The on Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics Group webpages can be found here:

http://www.itcm-sussex.com/

Contact details
Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr Matthias Keller http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/178720

Enquiries about your eligibility, the progress of your application and admission to Sussex, should be sent to Rebecca Foster [email protected]

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