Doctoral Position in Physics with Focus on Theoretical Attosecond Physics

Lund University Faculty of Engineering

Doctoral student in Physics with focus on theoretical attosecond physics

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

Mathematical Physics is a common division between the Natural Science and Engineering (LTH) faculties and is part of the Department of Physics. Research is conducted primarily in the field of quantum mechanical many particle physics, which includes theoretical nuclear structure physics, nanometer physics, quantum information, atomic theory and material modeling, with numerous partnerships both internationally and within Lund University.

Work duties

The PhD students shall work on the development of methods for studies of non-linear interaction and photoionization of atoms by electromagnetic fields. The studies will include laser-driven electron dynamics within atoms into time-dependent excited states, as well as studies of how excited atoms interact on the mesoscopic and macroscopic length scale. Both semi-classical and quantum mechanical description of light will be considered. According to published studies, these excited atoms can be used as a new kind of  ”clock” to perform time-frequency analysis of attosecond pulses, but exactly how accurate these measurements can be is still an open question. Atoms are composed of many electrons and their dynamics must, therefore, be approximated in some way. We use the Time-Dependent Configuration-Interaction Singles (TDCIS) method, and diagrammatic many-body perturbation theory, as our starting points. Numerical implementations of new programs and sub-routines will be written in modern FORTRAN. Collaboration on codes within the research group is carried out using GIT. Specific sub-topics for the project include:

A) Development and implementation of a method for mesoscopic and macroscopic effects in the interaction between attosecond pulses and excited atoms. Specific focus toward ultra-fast optics and quantum optics.

B) Development and implementation of a method for time-dependent single excitations that include relativistic effects starting from the Dirac Hartree-Fock equations (RTDCIS). Specific focus toward relativistic attosecond physics.

These PhD positions are part of a project entitled ”Ultra-fast superradiant and subradiant effects from atoms with electrons in superposition”, which is financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation (KAW) as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow Grant. The project allows for rapid expansion of the research activities in theoretical attosecond physics at the Mathematical Physics Division at Lund University. There are good opportunities for collaboration with experimental groups at the Atomic Physics Division (such as Prof. Anne L’Huillier in attosecond physics and Prof. Stefan Kröll in quantum optics) as well as theoretical atomic physics at Stockholm University (Prof. Eva Lindroth).

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Other assessment criteria

  • Experience with time-dependent simulations of quantum mechanical many-body systems.
  • Documented previous experience with concepts from atomic physics or correlated quantum mechanical systems as well as competence in computational procedures
  • Advanced programming skills

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

We intend to employ 1-2 PhD students.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications should be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

As the first step of the application process you are also required to answer the job specific questions!

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

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Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2021/1103
Marcus Dahlström, Senior Lecturer,
Union representative
OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 27.Apr.2021
Last application date 25.May.2021 11:59 PM CET