Experimental quantum simulation with ultracold atoms at ICFO, Barcelona
mercredi 21 septembre 2022 12:48:43
The Ultracold Quantum Gases research group at ICFO, led by Leticia Tarruell, is looking for well-qualified, highly motivated and dynamic PhD candidates who wish to enhance their scientific career in a friendly, international, and stimulating scientific environment within the field of quantum simulation with ultracold atoms.

The group explores quantum many-body physics with ultracold atoms in two existing experimental laboratories, and will start a third laboratory in Fall 2022. Right now, we have one PhD opening per lab.

In the potassium lab, we investigate two-component continuum systems with tunable interactions. Our goal is to engineer novel states of matter which emerge when the overall interactions of the system almost completely cancel out, making quantum fluctuations and correlations play a key role and resulting in new effective interaction terms. During the last years, we have shown how this can be used to stabilize quantum liquid droplets (Science 359, 301 (2018)) or to simulate gauge theories (Nature 608, 293 (2022)). Now, our goal is to demonstrate supersolids and topological superfluids by combining these two mechanisms and extending our experiments to the strongly interacting regime. As a PhD student, you will join a fully running laboratory and start doing science immediately. During your thesis, you will also have the chance to introduce major changes to our apparatus in order to confine the system to low dimensions and image it with higher spatial resolution. This lab is funded by our ERC project SuperComp, our Spanish MCIN project LIGAS, and the DFG Research Unit FOR2414.

In the strontium lab, our objective is to harness the properties of two-electron atoms in optical lattices for quantum optics and quantum simulation experiments. We aim at engineering quantum many-body states combining photons and bosonic strontium atoms, and at exploiting the large nuclear spin of fermionic strontium atoms to investigate Hubbard models for spin larger than 1/2. To this end, we are currently developing a quantum gas microscope to image single strontium atoms in each lattice site and with full spin resolution. During your PhD, you will participate in the development of the setup and conduct the first experiments. This lab is funded by the European project DAALI and by the Spanish MCIN and EU through the program NextGenerationEU.

In the Rydberg lab, which is starting in Fall 2022, we want to set up a programable quantum simulator using strontium atoms trapped in optical tweezers and excited to Rydberg states, with the goal of expanding the scope of quantum simulation from low to high energy physics. As a PhD student, you will design and construct the apparatus from scratch, and start planning the first scientific projects. This lab is funded by the Severo Ochoa program at ICFO, by the Spanish MCIN and EU through the program NextGenerationEU, and by the QuantERA EU project DYNAMITE.

Eligibility criteria:

We are looking for PhD applicants who have already worked in a laser lab before and have a background in quantum optics, atomic physics or condensed-matter physics. Knowledge of some of the relevant technologies such as vacuum, electronics, optics or programming is certainly a plus, but motivation to work in a team is as important. You should be enthusiastic about setting up and conducting challenging experiments at the forefront of both fundamental quantum science and technology in a small team of three to four people.

Contact details/applications:

To apply, please contact Prof. Leticia Tarruell (leticia.tarruell@icfo.eu) to discuss the scientific projects, sending her your CV, transcripts, a copy of you master thesis (if possible), and the name of two people who could provide letters of recommendation. A formal application should also be submitted through the ICFO Jobs site.