Ph.D projects in atomic physics


The atomic physics group offers different projects each year, depending upon the current research areas where we have interests. These topics may change each year, but essentially they fall into the following categories:

Collision physics, where we study excitation and ionization of atomic and molecular targets using low energy electron beams (3 electron spectrometers are used for this purpose)

Laser Interactions, where we study the excitation and ionization of atoms and molecules using high power continuous wave (CW) and pulsed tuneable lasers (5 different experiments)

Combined laser & electron interactions, where the target is prepared by a laser beam and then the subsequent interaction with an electron beam is studied (as above)

Interactions in optical cavities, where a resonant cavity is used to amplify the effects of the laser radiation on the atoms, leading to new experiments which study these strongly coupled systems

Cold atom research, where we use lasers to cool and trap atoms in our new type of atom trap (the AC-MOT) prior to studying them using the above methods (see front web page for a picture of this system)

Cold electron production, where we photo-ionize a cold atomic target held in an AC-MOT before extracting the electrons and accelerating them into different experiments (eg for injection into free electron lasers, accelerators, and low energy electron diffraction (LEED) experiments (1 vacuum system currently under development)

  1. We are also involved in theoretical calculations of the laser-atom interactions, where we use a Quantum Electro-Dynamic (QED) model to study how the laser interacts with the target

A brief description of the projects that we offer may be found as a pdf file here.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in atomic physics in our group, then please look at the School of Physics and Astronomy web page located at: