Research Associate/Fellow in Theory of Mechanical Systems in the Quantum Regime (Fixed term)

University of Nottingham

View All Vacancies
Physics & Astronomy
Location:  University Park

£30,487 to £37,099
per annum (pro rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience (minimum £33966 with relevant PhD).
Closing Date:  Wednesday 27 September 2023
Reference:  SCI390723

We invite applications for a highly motivated Research Associate/Fellow to work with Prof. Andrew Armour on the Leverhulme Trust funded project `Ultra-cool Mechanics: opening a new window on the quantum world’. The goals of the project are to develop and analyse theoretical models of micromechanical resonators in the quantum regime interacting with an ultra-cold environment and to explore potential applications of these systems as novel probes of fundamental physics.

The project involves close collaboration with an experimental team in Grenoble (France) who recently pioneered the cooling of a micromechanical drum resonator with a fundamental vibrational mode frequency of 15MHz to 500μK (via adiabatic demagnetization refrigeration), allowing it to approach its quantum ground state in equilibrium with its surroundings. Painstaking measurements revealed that properties of the drum (like its frequency) fluctuated over time and, paradoxically, the strength of these fluctuations actually increased as the drum was cooled rather than becoming weaker as intuition would suggest. The project will develop the theory needed to understand these observations by describing the subtle interplay between the mechanics and environmental degrees of freedom that remain relevant, even at ultra-low temperatures. The project will also identify ways in which ultra-cold mechanical systems could be employed as novel scientific tools to explore interesting physics both within their immediate surroundings and beyond.

A highly skilled researcher is sought who should have a PhD (or be near completion of one) in a relevant subject area. The researcher will be an integral part of an international team of researchers within the School of Physics and Astronomy, covering a broad range of theoretical quantum physics including areas such as open quantum systems, quantum coherent devices, quantum optics and many-body physics. The main responsibilities of this post will be to carry out original theoretical physics research, to write up results for publication and present results at conferences. The role holder will have the opportunity to use their initiative and creativity to identify promising new directions for research, develop research methods and extend their research portfolio.

The position is available from 1st January 2024 and is offered on a full time (36.25 hours per week), fixed term contract until 31st December 2026. Job share arrangements may be considered.

As part of our commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion within the school, shortlisted candidates will be given the opportunity to talk to a member of staff representing women, BAME, LGBTQIA+ or disabilities communities. This will be separate to the assessment process and will play no role in the decision to appoint.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Andrew Armour, email [email protected]. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Further details:

View Additional Information (this will open a new window)

Our University is a supportive, inclusive, caring and positive community. We welcome those of different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs – indeed this very diversity is vital to our success, it is fundamental to our values and enriches life on campus. We welcome applications from UK, Europe and from across the globe. For more information on the support we offer our international colleagues, see our Moving to Nottingham pages.

Applicants for this post will be considered on an equal basis, subject to the relevant permission to work in the UK as defined by the requirements set out by UK Visas & Immigration.  Please visit: for more information.

For successful international applicants, we provide financial support for your visa and the immigration health surcharge, plus an interest-free loan to help cover the cost of immigration-related expenses for any dependents accompanying you to the UK. For more information please see our Financial support for visas and the immigration health surcharge webpages.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location