Testing fundamental physics with precision spectroscopy of singly-ionised helium and molecular hydrogen

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Testing fundamental physics with precision spectroscopy of singly-ionised helium and molecular hydrogen
  • University Graduate

Are you highly interested and enthusiastic to investigate fundamental physics (Quantum Electrodynamics and physics beyond the Standard Model) with state-of-the-art laser methods and quantum-state control of matter? Then please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 1

Job description

Job description

The PhD position is in experimental physics and aims to perform the best tests of bound-state Quantum Electrodynamics in singly ionised helium (in a Paul trap) and molecular hydrogen (in a beam), in search for physics beyond the Standard Model. It involves precision spectroscopy using advanced lasers and methods, such as a frequency comb lasers, ultrafast lasers and parametric amplification, trapping, laser cooling, and nonlinear optics such as high-harmonic generation (HHG).

Your duties

  • experimental research, based on advanced lasers and quantum-state control, leading to scientific papers, a finished thesis, and a PhD degree
  • you can be asked to perform educational duties for the department for up to 10% of your time


  • MSc in Physics, Technical Physics, Optical Physics, or similar
  • knowledge of, and experience with, lasers and atomic physics is an advantage, but not required
  • proficiency in written and spoken English
  • show a proactive research orientation

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,325 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,972 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 4 years. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 24,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project
The project is at the LaserLaB of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Physics Department), a world-leading multi-disciplinary research institute with more than 120 scientists and support staff. You will work in a team with several PhD students and postdocs in the Ultrafast Laser Physics and Precision Metrology for Fundamental Tests group, which is a subdivision of the Quantum Metrology and Laser Applications group (formerly known as Atoms, Molecules and Lasers). 


Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter (letter of motivation) and provide the name and email address of 2 references. You can apply until 31 January 2020, but applications are evaluated continuously until the position is filled.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. K.S.E. Eikema
Position: Group leader Ultrafast Laser Physics and Precision Metrology for Fundamental Tests
E-mail: k.s.e.eikema@vu.nl
Telephone: +31-20-5987957

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