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PhD position in Atomic Quantum Physics

Faculty of Science – Institute of Physics

Vacancy details of PhD position in Atomic Quantum Physics
Publication date 1 June 2021
Closing date 30 September 2021
Level of education Master's degree
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,395 to €3,061 gross per month
Vacancy number 21-419

Are you a highly-motivated student for performing state-of-the-art atomic physics experiments? Then we are looking for you.

The hybrid atom-ion quantum systems lab, headed by Dr. Rene Gerritsma, is part of the Quantum Gases and Quantum Information (QGQI) cluster at the University of Amsterdam. The main focus of the group is to study the quantum dynamics in trapped ions while at the same time developing technology for emerging quantum applications, such as quantum computing and simulation.

Read more information on the Hybrid atom-ion Quantum Systems (HYQS) lab research site. 

What are you going to do

You will work in a team that develops a new quantum simulation and computation platform: trapped ions that are pinned by optical microtraps. We aim to use this system as a programmable quantum simulator for quantum many-body dynamics and quantum computation applications. Your project will center on the implementation and characterization of this novel quantum simulator. The project will consist of several interrelated sub-projects aimed at:

  • preparing cold 1- and 2- dimensional ion crystals;
  • engineering and characterizing the phonon mode spectra of these crystals;
  • implement spin-spin interactions between the ions using a dedicated laser system;
  • quantum simulate models of interest, in particular spin-frustrated systems.

You will work in a team with two other PhD students, a post doc and several Master students. Theory support will be supplied by the group of Dr. Arghavan Safavi-Naini of the Quantum Software research center. The work will involve setting up optics, lasers and electronics as well as programming.

Relevant references:

  • R. Nath et al., New J. Phys. 17, 065018 (2015).
  • Juan Diego Arias Espinoza et al., arXiv:2103.10425 (2021).

What do we require of you

A (theoretical or experimental) physics or physical chemistry and you are requested to motivate why you apply for the position and to supply a CV.

Other skills/experiences/documents that would benefit your application are:

  • previous laboratory experience in an atomic physics lab;
  • excellent communication skills (English);
  • scientific publications.

To foster diversity in our research group, we will especially appreciate applications from  female candidates.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and Master students. 

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,395 to € 3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About us

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is located in the center of the Amsterdam Science Park. The IoP – as part of the Faculty of Science –is housed in a modern building with excellent labs and technical facilities. Surrounded by several national research institutes and with our partners at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong Physics center of international standing.

The Van der Waals - Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics (IoP-WZI) is part of the IoP and home to three research clusters: Quantum Gases & Quantum Information (QG&QI), Quantum Materials (QMat), and Soft Matter (SM).

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 30 Septembe 2021. You can apply online by using the link below. 

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • A curriculum vitae including the contact information of two references.
  • A motivation letter that explains why you have chosen to apply for this specific position with a statement of your research experience and interests and how these relate to this project.
  • Transcript of grades.
  • Title and summary of your Master thesis and a pdf copy or a link to it in case it is already completed.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.

No agencies please