PhD studentship

A fully-funded 3.5 year PhD studentship is available in the Quantum Theory group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, starting from 1 October. We are looking for a motivated student interested in working on the quantum mechanics of light matter interaction, in particular chiral matter. The position is open to suitably qualified candidates, from the UK and the EU.

Matter can be chiral, that is showing a lack of symmetry in its structure. Molecules in particular can exist in two forms which are mirror images of one another, and yet differ fundamentally in their chemical or biological function. The natural handedness of circularly polarised light can be used for probing and trapping molecules in a manner that distinguishes the mirror image forms. Even atoms, which are naturally not chiral, can be rendered susceptible to the handedness of light, making light a widely applicable tool when studying the effects of handedness in matter. On a more fundamental level, chirality is related to parity violation and hence the weak force. This is an interdisciplinary field of research which has seen much interest in recent years from chemists, biologists as well as theoretical and experimental physicists.

This project will explore signatures of chirality in light matter interaction by tailoring the structure of the light field. It is possible to create chiral optical lattices where neighbouring lattice sites interact differently with chiral matter. This promises to be an ideal tool to study chiral effects in many body physics and thermodynamics. The successful student will therefore have the opportunity to work on a range of topics on in quantum mechanics related to chiral light-matter interactions.

Research interests in our group cover a broad range of topics in atomic, molecular and quantum optics as well as quantum information, and the successful candidate will be part of a varied and vibrant research environment. A particular strength of our group is in working closely with experimentalists. We are looking for candidates interested in working on various fundamental theoretical aspects in light-matter interactions, potentially with a view to experimental implementations. A suitable applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate physics degree or equivalent and will be capable of working alone or as part of a team. More information about our group can be found on our webpages.


EU and UK nationals with a first class masters degree in physics or physics and mathematics. Students holding exceptional first class bachelors degrees will also be considered.


The studentship covers all tuition fees, and a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate, which for this year is £14,777 pa.


31st July 2019 to start from 1st October 2019.

Application Process

Please visit our website and follow the how to apply steps.

If you have any questions on the studentship or the application process please get in touch.