PhD position: Quantum sensors for fundamental physics

Application deadline

University of Warwick is  looking  for  a  post-graduate  student  to  join  the  quantum  information  science group  of Animesh  Datta.  The  goals  of  this  theoretical project are to produce the design principles for quantum sensors that can 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 questsis the precise sensing of physical observables such as exquisitely small forces, phases, displacements and temperature.

The  student  must  be  interested  in  a  close  interplay  of quantum  metrology,  quantum information science, quantum optics, and quantum mechanics.

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 PhD project  shall  leverage  the  concepts  and  development  underlying these  recent  advances such  as  multi-parameter  [1]  and  multi-mode  [2]  quantum metrology to invent new routes for attacking open problems in fundamental physics. It will  apply  quantum  metrology  to  physical  systems  such  as  atomic,  optical,  and  opto-mechanical interferometers, and their performance in the real world. Each one of these systems  possesses 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.

An aim of the project is to advance recent results from Warwick [3] towards experimental systems that can be realized in the coming  years. The outcomes of this project  will  also have applications in designing the next generation of quantum-enhanced imaging, magnetometry, and time keeping.

A close interaction between theory and experimental systems will place the student in a uniquely beneficial position for a future in fundamental physics and the quantum technologies market. The  interaction with premier scientific missions will provide the student  a  privileged  perspective  on  quantum  sensing  and  metrology in  a complementary setting, unavailable to any other in the UK or elsewhere.

1. Magdalena Szczykulska,  illmann  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)

3. Dominic Branford, Christos Gagatsos, Animesh  Datta, Quantum enhanced estimation of diffusion, In preparation.

How to apply

Starting on October 2019, we are seeking a PhD student on the project Quantum sensors for fundamental physics.

For UK or EU (with a UK undergraduate degree) students with a First class, funding is available. Apply here.

For Informal enquiries, please include a CV, and explanation of your excellence and suitability for the project.

Other sources of scholarships include the Commonwealth scholarships, Newton Fund, and John Monash scholarships.