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Scientist with a doctorate (PhD) in the field of quantum logic spectroscopy of highly charged ions (21-425-QUEST) Tuesday, 14. December 2021

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) is the national metrology institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with scientific and technical service tasks. It furthers progress and reliability in metrology for society, the economy and science. The QUEST Institute for Experimental Quantum Metrology is a joint institution of Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and PTB Braunschweig.


With a starting date as soon as possible, the QUEST Institute is looking for a candidate to fill the following position at our Braunschweig site for an initial duration of two years:



Scientist with a doctorate (PhD) in the field of
quantum logic spectroscopy of highly charged ions

up to Remuneration Group 14 TVöD Bund ○ full-time (39 hours/week) ○ fixed-term contract



Your tasks:

Highly charged ions (HCIs) are ubiquitous in the observable universe and have many advantageous properties for fundamental physics tests and use as next-generation optical clocks. Building on our recent breakthrough in the clock-like laser spectroscopy of highly charged ions with a precision jump of nine orders of magnitude, the following tasks will be pursued:

  • Participating in the ERC project titled ‘FunClocks’ and in other international cooperation projects
  • Working with our team to install and characterize a new ion trap to improve the uncertainty of the system to less than 10‑18
  • Developing quantum logic search techniques to enable the rapid localization and identification of narrow optical transitions in HCIs
  • Performing optical frequency measurements at the technological limit and analyzing isotopic shift data with respect to the exclusion of 5th forces
  • Developing optical clocks based on HCIs with an uncertainty of 10‑18
  • Presenting the scientific results at international conferences


You will find more detailed information about the projects and our job advertisement on our QUEST website.



Your profile: 

  • You have successfully completed your university studies in physics (Master’s degree or German Diplom).
  • You are interested in developing and performing high-precision experiments.
  • You are highly committed and capable of working autonomously.
  • You are a strong team player with excellent communication skills.
  • You have a very good command of spoken and written English.
  • A good knowledge of atomic physics, quantum optics, laser cooling, laser spectroscopy, or related fields would be an advantage.
  • You must have the physical ability to work in a laboratory and perform experiments at external sites.



We offer:

  • A position at one of the world’s leading research institutions which has an excellent infrastructure
  • Excellent national and international connections
  • Hands-on training in modern experimental techniques in laser and quantum physics and active participation in the development of experiments at the forefront of quantum physics research
  • Research leave abroad via our wide-ranging network
  • Compatibility of work and family life (flexible working hours and part-time schemes)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement for the public service (Tarifvertrag öffentlicher Dienst Bund – TVöD for the federal level)
  • In-house daycare center and canteen
  • Various workplace health and wellness options



You will find further information related to this position at the QUEST Institute and by contacting:
Prof. Dr. P. O. Schmidt, phone: +49 531 592-4700, email: piet.schmidt(at)ptb.de or
Dr. S. King, phone: +49 531 592-4764, email: steven.king(at)ptb.de.


PTB promotes the professional equality of women and men and is thus especially interested in applications from women.
Disabled persons will be given priority if they have the same occupational aptitude.

Please use our

Alternatively, you can post your application to us at the following address:


Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Referat “Personal”
Reference number 21-425-QUEST
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig


Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications sent via email.


Applications can be submitted from 9 November 2021 until 14 December 2021.