Research Fellow in Experimental Quantum Optomechanics

Contract Fulltime University of Birmingham
  • Post Date : June 4, 2021
  • Salary: £30942 - £40322
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Job Description

Research Fellow in Experimental Quantum Optomechanics – Physics and Astronomy – 97274 – Grade 7

– (210000JV)

Position Details

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Physics and Astronomy

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322, with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Grade 7

Full time

Fixed term contract for up to 2.5 years

Closing date: 31st July 2021


The Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy and Cold Atoms Group at the University of Birmingham invite applications for a 2.5 year Postdoctoral Fellowships in Quantum Optomechanics.

Quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity have successfully passed all experimental tests to date. For example, propagation of errors in modern quantum computers, such as Google’s Sycamore does not show any signs of unexpected decoherence in a highly entangled state. At the same time, recent observation of gravitational waves from binary black holes and binary neutron star mergers proved that the general theory of relativity also holds in a very strong gravitational field. The main related and long-standing research question is: How can gravity be united with the other fundamental forces?

The aim of the project is to build an optical interferometer and study quantum light-matter interactions. A successful project will measure quantum motion of cryogenic 10-g silicon mirrors to test models of semiclassical gravity. You should hold, or should be close to completing, a PhD in experimental research in any of the following areas: quantum optics, particle physics or gravitational-wave detection. You will have the full support of an expert team and we will provide training for those areas you are less familiar with.

This highly collaborative project is a joint effort between the universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Warwick as a part of the “Quantum-enhanced interferometry for New Physics” consortium. Birmingham hosts the experiment in the laboratory of the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy which is one of the leading research centres worldwide focusing on the booming field of astrophysics. Researchers from the Birmingham Cold Atoms group will provide their expertise in quantum optics to the project.

For more information, visit:

Summary of Role

  • Experimental and theoretical work on optical interferometry, quantum measurements, and semiclassical models of gravity
  • Analyse and interpret research findings and results
  • Contribute to the new grant applications to extend funding of the project
  • Initiate and conduct original research that has measurable outcomes and is reflected in international reputation
  • Plan, design, and coordinate research activities and programs
  • Contribute to the development of research strategies
  • Publish results of own research
  • Contribute to the supervision of Ph.D. students
  • Develop and make substantial contributions to public engagement activities, widening participation, and schools outreach activities

Main Duties/Responsibilities

  • Develop a table-top experiment to measure quantum optomechanical interactions
  • Manage research activities, and supervise one PhD student
  • Present findings in publications and conferences
  • Develop novel methodologies and quantum noise suppression techniques
  • Provide expert advice to colleagues and students within the discipline
  • Develop and make substantial contributions to public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University
  • Contribute to the administrative activities within the University, typically relating to research
  • Apply knowledge in a way that develops a new intellectual understanding

Person Specification

  • High-level analytical capability
  • First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area of equivalent qualifications.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Willingness to learn new techniques and topics related to the project
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

Send informal enquires to Dr Denis Martynov (, Dr Vincent Boyer ( ), and Dr Haixing Miao ( ).

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community’

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

Primary Location GB-GB-Birmingham
Job Academic Non-clinical
Organization Physics and Astronomy
Schedule Temporary
Job Posting 28.05.2021, 5:57:22 AM
Grade (for job description) Grade 7
Salary (Pay Basis) 30,942.00
Maximum Salary 42,792.00
Advert Close Date 31.07.2021, 5:59:00 PM

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