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Scientist with a doctorate (PhD) specializing in the development of a transportable optical ion clock (22-321-QUEST) Monday, 12. September 2022

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 for an initial duration of three years:


Scientist with a doctorate (PhD) specializing in
the development of a transportable optical ion clock

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


The place of work is Hannover.


Your tasks:

In the Quantum Logic Spectroscopy research group, we work on precision spectroscopy of trapped and laser-cooled atomic ions. To this end, we develop quantum-computer-inspired techniques for the coherent manipulation of ions and their spectroscopy for applications such as high-precision optical atomic clocks. In the “Transportable Aluminum Quantum Logic Clock” project, which is supported by the TerraQ collaborative research center (CRC) and the Quantum Valley Lower Saxony (QVLS), the focus lies on the following tasks:

  • Setting up and operating a transportable Al+ quantum logic clock with an uncertainty of 10-18
  • Developing compact optical setups with automated optimization of the operating parameters
  • Integrating the development results into this clock
  • Automating the clock for continuous operation and its characterization
  • Performing measurement campaigns with the clock outside a laboratory environment for height difference measurements in geodesy
  • 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 completed your university studies (Master’s or German Diplom) in physics and obtained a doctorate with a “very good” grade.
  • 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 both spoken and written English.
  • A good knowledge of atomic physics, quantum optics, laser cooling, laser spectroscopy or related fields would be an advantage.
  • You have basic knowledge of a programming language (e.g., Python).
  • You have basic knowledge of electronics.
  • 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 with an excellent infrastructure
  • Outstanding national and international networking
  • 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
  • Remuneration in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Public Service covering federal employees (Tarifvertrag öffentlicher Dienst Bund – TVöD)
  • A public sector pension scheme (VBL)
  • Compatibility of family life and work (flexible work options and part-time schemes)
  • 30 days’ paid annual leave
  • Various workplace health and wellness options


You will find further information related to this position at the QUEST Institute by contacting: 
Prof. Dr. P. O. Schmidt, phone: +49 531 592-4700, email: piet.schmidt(at)ptb.de or
Dr. S. Hannig, phone: +49 531 592-4705, email: stephan.hannig(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 send your application to the following postal address:


Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Referat “Personal”
Reference number 22-321-QUEST
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig


Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications sent via email.


Applications can be submitted from 20 June 2022 until 12 September 2022.