Postdoctoral fellowship in Theory of Trapped Cold Rydberg Ions

We are offering a full-time postdoctoral position in the theoretical part of an original and innovative project studying cold trapped ions and electrons. It is a joint project of an experimental and a theoretical research group. The main goal of the whole project is to develop a device that will trap electrons along with the positive ions. Among many exciting applications in quantum technologies, this device will be capable of detection of very weak radio-frequency signal. Further applications, beyond the scope of the current project, include quantum simulators and quantum computing.

Trapping and cooling of the electrons has not been achieved so far. Therefore, the research objective is very original and this research has a potential to pave the road towards multiple innovations. The activities within the experimental part of the project involve the design and construction of the trap, cooling technology and a system to detect the presence of the trapped electron. On the other hand, the theoretical part will deal with more fundamental aspects:

* Is there any significant exchange of energy between the electron and ions inside the trap? What is the underlying mechanism?
* Is it possible for the trap to support any bound states of an electron and multiple ions that would not exist without the trap?
* Does this trapped system support any bound states with a high angular momentum?
* From a more practical point of view: What parameters of the trap are optimal for simultaneous trapping of the electron and ions?

The funding of this project is secured for three years. If possible by a future funding, extension beyond the currently funded period is possible.

Work tasks:
The theoretical research within this project will consist of classical and quantum-mechanical calculations of an electron -- ion system in the Paul trap. Specifically:
* A numerical model of a single electron and one or several positive ions in an RF time-dependent potential will be constructed and implemented on an HPC computer cluster.
* A numerical method suitable to study the non-Born-Oppenheimer dynamics of the ions will be formulated and implemented. An exchange of the energy between the ions, electron and the trap will be investigated.
* Since the standing optical waves will be a part of the planned setting, the interaction of the Rydberg electron with the standing optical waves will be studied.

Career benefits of this position:
* competitive position to pursue further career in quantum technologies, either on academic or industrial level
* competitive position to pursue further academic career in theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics
* advanced training in numerical methods suitable specifically for quantum mechanical calculations of electrons in the continuum interacting with positive ions (quantum-defect theory, R-matrix, etc.)
* advanced training in numerical methods suitable for general physics and engineering (B-splines, large linear systems, large eigenvalue problems, etc)
* advanced training in software design for scientific HPC (best core practices, parallelization and vectorization, libraries for linear algebra, foundations of programming for GPU)
* intensive interaction with the experimental group at Charles University dealing with the experimental aspects of this topic
* interaction with other related theoretical and computational groups at Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences (theoretical chemistry, quantum dynamics of electrons in continuum - theory of resonances)
* work in small research group with intensive internal communication
* possibility to attend several international conferences on topics related to the project along with other relevant scientific events

1) PhD in theoretical or computational atomic, molecular and optical physics or related theoretical field
2) previous experience in at least one of the following (or closely related) theoretical fields of expertise:
    - electron collisions with positive atomic or molecular ions - quantum  theory and computational methods     
      (quantum defect theory, R-matrix, etc)
   - atomic or molecular Rydberg states (preferably in external time-dependent fields)
   - cold Rydberg ions in trap
   - dynamics of the nuclei in molecules beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation (processes where the energy is    
     efficiently transferred between the electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom)
   - quantum theory of photoionization, photodetachment or photodissociation
   - classical simulations of trapped ions or electrons in excited states of atoms
3) fluent English
4) Ability to program in at least one of the following languages: Fortran90, C++, Python
5) Ability to use OS Linux for code development and execution

If you are not convinced whether you meet all the requirements, you are still encouraged to apply as long as your expertise generally matches this project and as long as you are willing to learn.

We offer:

  • 5 weeks paid leave of absence (holidays) per year + 3 days of paid sick-leave in addition to the statutory insurance
  • Flexible working-time, the possibility of part-time work
  • Lunch vouchers
  • Possibility of attending children groups of the CAS
  • Sports goods rental, free parking, trade union library
  • Language courses
  • Possibility of further education and career development by participating in courses organized by our institute.

Eligibility criteria:
To apply, please send your CV, cover letter, list of publications and publication record in peer reviewed journals to Include SC2024_07 in the subject line of your email.

If applying for the first postdoctoral position after PhD, submit a reference to your PhD thesis (if available online).
Optionally, you can provide at most three letters of recommendation from your former advisors or senior collaborator.

Selection process

By providing us with your personal data in your CV, you have allowed J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry to process and file your CV in the HR database. Your personal data will be used for the internal HR needs of the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry only. At the same time, you confirm here that the personal data as stated in the CV you have sent to us is true and accurate.

Application deadline
13. 2. 2024