Theory and Advanced Computation
National Physical Laboratory, Ben-Gurion University
Student will require
A keen interest in quantum optics and condensed matter theory.
We identify the following main theoretical objectives of the project: (1) Development of theoretical models to describe hybrid devices of superconducting circuits and topological insulators (2) Evaluate optimal materials and device design to enable the experimental realisation and probing of hybrid TI devices, (3) Explore the application of topological insulators for quantum computation and quantum metrology. (4) Inspire and support experimental efforts on hybrid systems carried out by collaborators.
A university funded scholarship is available, depending on the applicant qualifications. Full funding (stipend plus fees) is possible for UK/EU citizens. Non-EU citizens will only be considered with proof of part sponsorship for the additional fee component.
You should hold the equivalent of a UK first-class or 2:1 BSc/MPhys degree or equivalent. Preference will be given to candidates with higher qualifications and evidence of research experience.
In order to enhance the new Partnership between The University of Surrey and NPL, and to enable the creation of new research programmes that exploit the complementary facilities available at the two sites, Surrey is funding 25 new PhD positions with full scholarships. Five scholarships will be awarded for start in Oct 2015 or Jan 2016, and applicants must choose from 11 possible projects, of which this is one.
If you would like to apply for this project, you must email Dr Ginossar (email@example.com) to discuss your application and arrange an interview.
Prior to your interview you will need to make a formal application through the Faculty Graduate School web application system, with your CV (by the deadline of August 31, 2015)
If your interview is successful and you are put forwards by the supervisor, the final stage is selection by the NPL Scholarship Panel, in competition with the other projects from elsewhere in the ATI and the rest of the Faculty. The five best applicants out of the 11 put forward will be offered scholarships.
The process is expected to complete by mid-September.
The search for universal physical effects, independent of the details and defects of the material, is a basic requirement for metrology. The requirement for most other quantum technological applications lies in systems exhibiting robust quantum coherence, the hallmark of the principle of superposition. Topological insulators (TI) are materials which promise to satisfy both of these requirements.This project focuses on theoretical modelling of devices which will be used for probing and utilizing the unique properties of these materials.
Topological insulators are a class of semiconductors discovered in recent years where the spin-orbit interaction has a dramatic effect as its presence induces a new electronic phase which is characterised and explained by a topological property of the band structure. These discoveries created a new field in which theoretical predictions are playing a pivotal role. The hallmark of the topological insulating phase is the existence of gapless electronic surface states. The surface states have inherent robustness against perturbations and hence are predicted to be useful in realising topological quantum computation. The topological insulating state also bears a resemblance to the quantum Hall state which is also a manifestation of topological order and which serves as standard of electrical resistance. It is therefore envisaged that TIs could find metrological application as a magnetic-field free resistance standard. Although experiments with TI materials have been very promising so far, exploiting TIs for applications is challenging due to the need to develop advanced probing and state manipulation capabilities that separate the bulk from the surface response. In this project we will develop physical models that describe hybrid quantum systems involving TIs and superconducting circuits and use these models to explore the application of TIs for topologically protected quantum computation and quantum metrology as well as collaborate with experiments.
 Colloquium: Topological insulators, M. Z. Hasan and C. L. Kane , Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 3045 (2010)
( http://arxiv.org/pdf/1002.3895.pdf -- and references within)
 Eran Ginossar and Eytan Grosfeld, Nature Communications 5, 4772 (2014)
For more information on these and other projects see the ATI web pages and the relevant PhD descriptors: