Theory Division

Theoretical Quantum Dynamics and Quantum Electrodynamics



PhD student – Laser acceleration of charged particles for applications in medicine, industry, and nuclear fusion research

This theoretical PhD project is directed towards improving the basic understanding of generation and acceleration of charged particles by strong laser fields.

High-energy beams of protons and light nuclei are utilized in hadron cancer therapy in a number of clinics around the world. Ion lithography schemes head for practical application and nuclear fusion research continues to gain in importance. In addition, considerable effort is being devoted to research into the fundamental forces of nature. In all of these applications, charged particles - electrons, ions, muons, etc. - are accelerated by costly conventional accelerators. As it was shown in theoretical model calculations, tightly focused laser fields can accelerate particles to the high kinetic energies required [see: Y. I. Salamin, Z. Harman, C. H. Keitel, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 155004 (2008)]. The revolutionary development of laser systems opens fascinating new possibilities in the field of laser acceleration and may enables in near future the construction of low-cost table-top accelerators.

The PhD candidate is expected to carry out analytical and numerical model calculations with a many-body system dynamically driven by laser fields, in the framework of relativistic quantum mechanics and classical electrodynamics. From the theoretical side, Zoltan Harman and Christoph H. Keitel are available for providing support to the project.

Candidates should have a master or equivalent degree in physics and be highly motivated to work on a challenging theoretical project. A solid background in theoretical physics is desirable and experience in theoretical atomic, optical or plasma physics and numerical simulations is an advantage. Fluency in English is required.

The research project will be carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK), Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. Please send your application including CV, list of publications/scientific contributions and MSc certificate by email to Equal opportunity is a cornerstone policy of the Max Planck Society (MPG), and women as well as disabled people are particularly encouraged to apply. This position is open and applicants are invited as of now.

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