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Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical and Computational Atomic Physics

position expired
Massey University Auckland New Zealand NZ

We have an opening for a 2-year fixed-term research position in analytical and computational quantum dynamics of ultracold atoms.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical and computational physics of ultracold few-atom systems. The postdoctoral fellow will work on fundamental aspects of quantum dynamics, semiclassical quantum chaos, and stochastic computational methods applied to strongly correlated ultra-cold atom systems with short-range interactions.

A further aspect of the project is the development and implementation of stochastic algorithms for quantum dynamics and excitation spectra of closed and open quantum systems, extending the existing projector quantum Monte Carlo algorithms in the software package Rimu.jl (

The main research question is how few-body quantum correlations can be engineered in ultra-cold atom experiments and how they affect measurable properties like the lifetime. Comparison with experimental data as well as experimental tests of theoretical predictions are possible with an optical tweezer experiment with ultracold atoms at the Atomic Physics lab operated by A/Prof Mikkel Andersen (University of Otago). Applications of the developed theory to topological quantum states and quantum information processing, as well as extensions to include dipolar interactions, spinor quantum systems, and synthetic gauge fields are possible.

The position is funded by the Marsden fund of New Zealand through the research project “Three atoms in a tight spot”. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with the project leader Prof Joachim Brand and Associate Investigator A/Prof Mikkel Andersen. The postdoctoral fellow will become a member of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technology, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and will enjoy access to the facilities and programmes of the Centre. Based at the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study at Massey University’s Auckland campus, the postdoctoral fellow will further interact with a lively community of ultra-cold atom researchers in New Zealand and Australia. The postdoctoral fellow will have access to high-performance computing facilities at Massey University and the national supercomputer NeSI.

Applicants should have a PhD in computational theoretical physics or a related field and publications in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Previous experience with the theory of ultra-cold atomic gases, quantum many-body theory and quantum dynamics, quantum Monte Carlo or general computational methods of theoretical physics, and semiclassical chaos will be a plus. Experience and competency with scientific coding and high-performance computing is expected, preferably in the computer language Julia.

Applications for this position should be submitted electronically through Massey University’s careers portal and include a cover letter, full CV, and the names of at least three references. Enquiries about this position should be addressed to the project leader Prof Joachim Brand (

Term of Contract: Fixed Term of 2 Years

Position reference: CS_NZIAS_1027_07/21

Research group: Brand group