Postdoc Opportunities (Archived)

Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical and Computational Physics

We have an opening for a 2-year fixed-term research position in analytical and computational quantum dynamics of ultracold atoms.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical and computational physics of ultracold few-atom systems. The postdoctoral fellow will work on fundamental aspects of quantum dynamics, semiclassical quantum chaos, and stochastic computational methods applied to strongly correlated ultra-cold atom systems with short-range interactions.

A further aspect of the project is the development and implementation of stochastic algorithms for quantum dynamics and excitation spectra of closed and open quantum systems, extending the existing projector quantum Monte Carlo algorithms in the software package Rimu.jl (

The main research question is how few-body quantum correlations can be engineered in ultra-cold atom experiments and how they affect measurable properties like the lifetime. Comparison with experimental data as well as experimental tests of theoretical predictions are possible with an optical tweezer experiment with ultracold atoms at the Atomic Physics lab operated by A/Prof Mikkel Andersen (University of Otago). Applications of the developed theory to topological quantum states and quantum information processing, as well as extensions to include dipolar interactions, spinor quantum systems, and synthetic gauge fields are possible.

The position is funded by the Marsden fund of New Zealand through the research project “Three atoms in a tight spot”. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with the project leader Prof Joachim Brand and Associate Investigator A/Prof Mikkel Andersen. The postdoctoral fellow will become a member of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technology, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and will enjoy access to the facilities and programmes of the Centre. Based at the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study at Massey University’s Auckland campus, the postdoctoral fellow will further interact with a lively community of ultra-cold atom researchers in New Zealand and Australia. The postdoctoral fellow will have access to high-performance computing facilities at Massey University and the national supercomputer NeSI.

Applicants should have a PhD in computational theoretical physics or a related field and publications in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Previous experience with the theory of ultra-cold atomic gases, quantum many-body theory and quantum dynamics, quantum Monte Carlo or general computational methods of theoretical physics, and semiclassical chaos will be a plus. Experience and competency with scientific coding and high-performance computing is expected, preferably in the computer language Julia.The position is located at Massey University’s campus in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand is currently free of covid (in the community) and a wonderful place to live and work. Due to the pandemic it has border restrictions in place and thus we are particularly encouraging applicants who either reside in New Zealand or are entitled to travel to New Zealand (NZ nationals or permanent residents). We will also consider international applicants who, however, will require a border exemption for travelling to NZ.

Applications for this position should be submitted electronically through Massey University’s careers portal and include a cover letter, full CV, and the names of at least three references. Enquiries about this position should be addressed to the project leader Prof Joachim Brand (

Term of Contract: Fixed Term of 2 Years

Position reference: CS_NZIAS_1027_07/21

Research group: Brand group

Apply before 1 September 2021 (NZ time zone):— 
Dr. Joachim Brand
Professor of Theoretical Physics

New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study,
Centre for Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, and
Dodd Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technology,
Massey University Auckland                  NEW ZEALAND
Phone: +64 9 213 6621            FAX: +64 9 443