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Postdoc with Jeremy Hutson on the quantum theory of cold and ultracold molecules

position expired
Durham University, UK
A postdoctoral position is available to work in my research group on the quantum-mechanical theory of cold and ultracold molecules. The position for 3 years and is available as soon as the successful applicant wishes to start. The funding places no restrictions on nationality, though it will be subject to the normal UK immigration rules.

The major areas we work on are:

1. The production of ultracold molecules from ultracold atoms

2. Methods to cool molecules to microkelvin temperatures

3. Interactions, collisions and properties of ultracold molecules.

This position is associated with a large new EPSRC grant entitled MMQA: Microkelvin Molecules in a Quantum Array, joint with experimental groups at Durham and Imperial College London. It is linked to both the Atomic and Molecular Physics group and the Theory and Chemical Dynamics group.

My research group currently consists of 3 post-docs and 1 Ph. D. student, with funding available for 2 new Ph. D. students to start in 2011 or 2012. There are also closely linked experimental teams working on ultracold molecule production (magnetoassociation), molecule cooling (Stark deceleration, buffer-gas sources, Photostop, magnetic deceleration), and molecule trapping.

The successful applicant will be expected to:
- become an active and integrated member of the team
- take a leading role in a variety of projects
- engage with our extensive network of international collaborators
- initiate new projects in this fast-developing field

On a day-to-day basis, we use the techniques of advanced electronic structure theory and quantum atomic and molecular collision theory. The successful applicant is likely to have a background in one of these areas.

More information on the position is available here and general information about the cold molecules theory group is available at

Applications must be made via the Durham University Web site. There is a direct link to the application details for this position.

The closing date for applications is 23 March 2011 but late applications may be accepted by email.

Ph. D. studentships in the theory of cold molecules are also currently advertised, and studentships and postdoctoral positions are also available on the experimental side of the Programme Grant. Write to me or to my experimental colleagues (Eckart Wrede, David Carty, Simon Cornish) for further details.

Jeremy Hutson

Prof. Jeremy M. Hutson, FRS
Dept. of Chemistry
University of Durham
DH1 3LE (International)
World-Wide Web home page:

N-NH figure
Elastic and spin relaxation cross sections for N+NH in a magnetic field, from quantum-mechanical scattering calculations, superimposed on a contour plot of the intermolecular potential, from ab initio electronic structure calculations. The results demonstrate that sympathetic cooling of NH molecules by N atoms has a good prospect of success.

Ground-state Cs2 formation
Production of ground-state Cs_2 from ultracold Cs atoms.
Top right: the way that magnetic fields are used to form Feshbach molecules very near dissociation and then navigate to a state suitable for ground-state transfer.
Left: the 4-photon scheme used to transfer Feshbach molecules to the ground state.
Bottom right: the pattern of hyperfine levels in the ground state, showing that the state formed becomes the absolute ground state at fields above 13 mT. None of this would have been possible without guidance from theory.