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Post doc: Ultra-cold atoms in microgravity

The research work of our team focuses on the production of ultra-cold gases in microgravity, covering a large panel of unexplored atomic physics. The postdoc will be strongly involved in the leading of this research activities and the exploration of future experiments.

In the context of space applications, the first objective is to achieve atom interferometry with interrogation time of several seconds and more specifically demonstrate performances allowing to test the weak equivalence principle (WEP). The Equivalence principle is at the heart of modern physics and closely intertwined with some of the most fundamental questions of gravitation, particle physics and cosmology. The goal of our experiment is to achieve a double species atom interferometry using Rubidium-Potassium ultracold gases on our unique microgravity platform. These tests will pave the way towards future Space missions, improving the accuracy of the WEP tests with cold atoms and validate the technology.

These quantum sensors are also seriously considered seriously for Earth gravity surveys. Studies about potential geodesy missions benefiting from the high sensitivity and accuracy of cold atom interferometers are led by the space agencies (CNES et ESA). Gravity gradiometry measurements with ultra-cold atoms on our experiment will pave the way to develop instruments for these future space missions.

Finally, the postdoc will bring its skills to develop future experiments. One idea is to confine a 2D quantum gas to the surface of an experimentally-controlled topologically-connected “bubble.”2D bubble-shaped traps are usually very difficult to implement on Earth because the atoms fall at the bottom of the shell because of gravity. The goal is to create an optical bubble-shaped trap for ultracold atoms, compliant with our microgravity simulator which already produces ultracold atoms in an optical tweezer. Our method to produce quantum bubbles is inspired by double dressed states by combining telecom wavelength and 780 nm light.

Last but not least, another future objective is to develop a new type of multi‐particle quantum state atom interferometer at large spatial and temporal scales. The project is to manipulate pairs of entangled atoms generated from a BEC of alkali atoms and use them in a laboratory microgravity environment. Using optical lattices as atom optical elements, we will test an atom interferometer using atomic Bell states and extend it to large interrogations times and large separations. The project will pave the way to using this interferometer to probe the durability of quantum superpositions and entanglement in situations where GR becomes relevant.

Profile of applicant:

Candidates must hold an internationally recognized PhD degree (or evidence of its completion in the nearest future) based on experimental work, preferably in the areas of ultracold quantum gases, atom interferometry, quantum optics.

We seek a highly-motivated candidate with experimental background and theoretical skills in modelling cold atoms experiments. More generally, the candidate needs to be curious enough to explore a large range of research fields.


2 years starting in 2022


Laboratoire Photonique Numérique Nanosciences

Institut d’Optique d’Aquitaine

Rue François Mitterrand

33400 Talence



Tel : +33 5 57 01 72 24


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