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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Cold-Atom Vacuum Standard


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Sensor Science Division

RO# Location
50.68.51.B7853 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Fedchak, James A 301.975.8962


There is a growing and important need in high-tech manufacturing and advanced research to obtain vacuum pressures in the range of 10-7 Pa to 10-10 Pa (UHV to XHV) and below, but the accuracy of vacuum gauges and gas analyzers in that pressure region is not well known. We are interested in building a primary vacuum standard based on the loss-rate of cold-atoms from a pure magnetic or magneto-optical trap (MOT). The loss-rate is a function of the background gas pressure and the collision cross section of the trapped atom with the background gas; therefore the pressure in the vacuum system is determined from the measured loss-rate and known collision cross section. An important part of this project is to measuire the collision cross sections that lead to the loss of the atoms from the trap. To do this, a known vacuum pressure will be established in the atom-trap using a dynamic expansion technique and the cross-sections will be determined from the measured loss-rate. This opportunity involves laser-cooling and atom-trapping, vacuum metrology, XHV vacuum techniques, and fundamental scientific measurements. Research is done in collaboration with the laser-cooling and theoretical groups at NIST.


Laser cooling; Atom trapping; Metrology; Vacuum metrology; XHV; Magneto-optical trap; Pressure standards;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$72,028.00 $3,000.00
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