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PhD positions Laser Squeezed Light group AEI

Apr 12, 2022

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Hannover, Germany, is looking for highly motivated experimental physicists for PhD student positions.

The open positions are in the 'Laser and squeezed light’ group, led by Prof. Benno Willke. This group played a major role in providing key laser technologies for the current generation of gravitational wave detectors. Those technologies enabled the first direct detection of a gravitational wave, awarded the Nobel prize in 2017. Our group is intensely involved in the design and development of lasers and squeezed light sources for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors such as the Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer.

The Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) offers a unique research environment with groups working in ground and space-based interferometry, laser development, non-classical light sources, modern control and gravitational wave data analysis. AEI researchers are involved in all currently operating and planned gravitational wave detector projects. Furthermore, the AEI has high-class optics laboratories and professional electronics and mechanical workshops.

Applicants should hold a master degree in physics and should be interested in one or more of the following research topics:
Opto-mechanical power noise sensing for quantum-limited laser power stabilization and the generation of non-classical states of light,
Coherent combination of two high-power fiber lasers and stabilization of the combined beam for prototyping a laser source for third generation gravitational wave detectors,
Laser stabilization (power, frequency, spatial beam parameters) at low Fourier frequencies (1-100 Hz) with isolated low-noise sensors as a prototype for the Einstein Telescope gravitational wave detector.

Successful applicants will enroll to receive their Ph.D. degree from Leibniz University Hannover and will become members of the LIGO-Virgo-Kagra Scientific Collaboration and of the Quantum Frontiers Cluster of Excellence. Furthermore, AEI PhD students join a coordinated PhD program of our International Max Planck Research school with lectures on advanced topics, an extended soft-skill training and social events.

Payment is according to 75% of the pay scale of public services in Germany TVöD Bund E13.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more severely disabled people. We value diversity and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of gender, nationality, skin color, origin, religion and ideology, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.

Please upload your complete application documents (including a short motivation letter of maximum 1 page, your CV, the master degree certificate, an official transcript, and the contact of a senior scientist that would be willing to provide a reference letter) combined into a single PDF file on our applicant portal:

The application is open until the positions are filled with suitable candidates. For questions, please contact Marina Trad Nery (marina.trad(at)

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