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Scientist: Experimental Atomic Physics

Space Dynamics Laboratory
Albuquerque, NM
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • Full-Time
Job Description

Job ID: 5986B

The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) is seeking an experimental atomic physicist to lead fundamental research efforts supporting the development of atomic navigation devices and systems. This is a true research position in a modern fully equipped state-of-the-art atomic physics lab. The nominal focus is on the use of Bose-Einstein condensates and atom interferometry to construct navigation instrumentation. Emphasis is on understanding the physical layer of the experiment and designing/fabricating novel photonic and electro-optic components to improve the performance of cold atom platforms. This position is located in Albuquerque on the campus of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in physics or related field
  • Demonstrated track record of high-level work in the field of AMO physics
  • Highly creative
  • Capable of independently designing and pursuing a challenging set of experiments and able to communicate results to a diverse set of scientists and managers
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and be able to obtain a U.S. Government Security Clearance

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Highly curious and creative in a laboratory environment
  • Works well in a team
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to new projects and technical areas
  • Familiarity with atom interferometry
  • Understanding of Allen deviations
  • Expertise with data acquisition hardware
  • Programming experience, with emphasis in:
    • Numerical modeling, including magnetic field modeling, optical field modeling
    • Solving non-linear partial differential equations (such as the Gross-Pitaevskii equation)
    • Hardware communication
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to present challenging scientific topics clearly and the ability to create well-written papers and technical reports with little or no oversight
  • Experience with the following:
    • Atom chip design, development, and fabrication
    • Designing, building, optimizing, and diagnosing issues with a Magneto-Optical Trap
    • Capture and transfer of atoms in a magnetic trap
    • Bose-Einstein Condensate generation through forced RF evaporation
    • Linux
  • Familiarity with Department of Defense and/or Intelligence Community programs

At the Space Dynamics Laboratory, we take pride in and highly value our employees. SDL offers competitive salaries and fantastic benefits, including:

  • A 14.2% employer retirement contribution into a 401(a) account—no matching required!
  • Generous paid leisure and sick leave
  • High-quality, low-cost health, dental, and life insurance
  • A great team that works together to solve some of the most fascinating problems on (and off) our planet
  • Relocation assistance available for most positions

SDL supports a variety of missions, including NASA’s vision to reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind and the Department of Defense’s aim to protect our Nation on the ground, in the air, and in space. Our sensors, satellites, software systems, and science and engineering play an essential role in some important missions you’ve heard of, and others that you haven’t. Join our team in our seventh decade of delivering mission success.

For questions or assistance with the application process or the DoD SkillBridge program, please contact

EOE including Disability and Vet

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Space Dynamics Laboratory


Albuquerque, NM
87106 USA
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