Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

Mathematical Physics is a common division between the Natural Science and Engineering (LTH) faculties and is part of the Department of Physics. Research is conducted primarily in the field of quantum mechanical many particle physics, which includes theoretical nuclear structure physics, nanometer physics, quantum information, atomic theory and material modeling, with numerous partnerships both internationally and within Lund University.

Job assignment
The PhD student shall work on simulations and development of methods for studies of non-linear interaction and photoionization of atoms in electromagnetic fields. In more detail, the studies will be focused on laser-driven electron dynamics of atoms in time-dependent excited states. According to newly published studies, these excited atoms can be used as a tool (a new kind of ”clock”) to perform time-frequency analysis of so-called attosecond pulses, but exactly how accurate these measurements can be is still an open question [1]. Atoms are composed of many electrons and their dynamics must, therefore, be approximated in some way. We use the Time-Dependent Configuration-Interaction Singles (TDCIS) method and diagrammatic many-body perturbation theory as our starting points. Specific topics for the project include:

A) Simulation of non-linear preparation of time-dependent atomic excited states by strong laser fields with the aim to study frustrated tunneling and other effects. Specific focus toward time-dependent simulations, optimization and code parallelization.

B) Studies of the interaction between attosecond pulses and excited atoms with the aim to estimate effects that occur due to electron-electron correlation, such as shake-up and Auger decay. Specific focus toward diagrammatic many-body perturbation theory for many-electron atoms.

C) Development and implementation of a method for macroscopic attosecond pulse propagation through a gas of excited atoms that are each described at the microscopic level by time-dependent single excitations (such as TDCIS). Specific focus toward parallelization and simulations using clusters with possible extension toward quantum optics.

D) Development and implementation of a method for time-dependent single excitations (TDCIS) that include relativistic effects starting from the Dirac Hartree-Fock equations. Specific focus toward relativistic many-body atomic physics and code parallelization.

[1] ’Pulse analysis by delayed absorption from a coherently excited atom’, Dahlström et al., APL Photonics 4, 011101 (2019)

Teaching undergraduate students up to 15% time can be a part of the duties.

The PhD position is part of a project entitled ”Bound Electron Wave packets for Attosecond Resolved Emission”, which is financed by the Olle Engkvist foundation (OW) as a Swedish Foundation’s Starting Grant (equivalent to a Starting Grant from the European Research Council). The project allows for rapid expansion of the research activities in theoretical attosecond physics at the Mathematical Physics Division at Lund University. There are good opportunities for collaboration with experimental groups at the Atomic Physics Division as well as a group in theoretical atomic physics at Stockholm University.

The main task for the doctoral student will be to conduct research education which includes work with research but also to master graduate courses.

Entry requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements if he or she has:

  • at least 30 credits of relevance to the subject, including at least 15 second-cycle credits, and a second-cycle degree project of 15 credits of relevance to the field, or
  • an MSc in engineering in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Other requirements:

  • Good knowledge in spoken and written English.

Basis of assessment
Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to postgraduate studies within the research area, such as a broad and thorough preparation in physics. This can be documented by appended documents.
  2. Estimated ability to work independently and the ability to formulate and solve scientific questions. This ability can be established, for example, based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview.
  3. Skills in written and oral communication.
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

We consider good cooperation ability, drive and independent work ability as positive personal attributes.

Documented previous experience with concepts from atomic physics or correlated quantum mechanical systems as well as competence in computational procedures is considered as a strong merit. Advanced programming skills are also considered a merit.

Terms of employment
A PhD position is an employment with the main duty to be engaged in PhD studies according to the study plan. The duration of PhD studies is 4 years full time studies. In addition, those appointed to a PhD position may be required to work with educational tasks, research and technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment. PhD positions are subject to special regulations. These can be found in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100, chapter 5, 1-7§§). Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to PhD position.

We intend to employ 1-2 PhD students

Application procedure
Apply online. Applications must contain a covering letter in which you describe yourself and your particular research interests. You must also include a CV, a copy of your Master’s thesis (or a summary text if the thesis is not yet completed), contact details of at least two references, copies of grade certificates, and any other documents that you wish to refer to.

As the first step of the application process you are also required to answer the job specific questions.

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2019/2502
  • Marcus Dahlström,,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 05.Aug.2019
Last application date 08.Sep.2019 11:59 PM CET

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