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Postdoctoral Research Associate


Job Description

Open Date:     September 1, 2021

Close Date:    October 15, 2021

We Are

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (known as Fermilab) seeks highly qualified candidates for a Postdoctoral Research Associate focusing on beam-cooling technology.

Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.  We support discovery science experiments in Illinois and South Dakota and at locations around the world, including Canada, mountaintops in Arizona and Chile, and the South Pole.

Fermilab is an established, world leader in beam-cooling R&D and has initiated a new research program dedicated to the development of Optical Stochastic Cooling (OSC). The central purpose of this program is a multiple order-of-magnitude advance in the state of the art for particle-beam cooling and control.

In the high-intensity beams of modern accelerators, the ability to increase or maintain beam density and lifetime is essential. Historically, this has required the development and application of a variety of beam-cooling concepts and technologies to facilitate particle accumulation, higher luminosity and to counteract diffusive (heating) effects, such as intrabeam scattering, Touschek scattering and residual-gas scattering. One of the greatest conceptual and technological triumphs in this area was Van der Meer’s Nobel-Prize-winning Stochastic Cooling. Extension of the stochastic cooling principle to optical frequencies and bandwidths could increase achievable cooling rates by three to four orders of magnitude.

The world’s first demonstration of OSC at Fermilab’s Integrable Optics Test Accelerator (IOTA) was achieved in 2021. The next phase of this research includes the complete demonstration of an operational optical stochastic cooling system with >1000x optical-power gain and an additional ~60x increase in the density of transverse sensing and feedback.  This will include an experimental program, which makes use of the IOTA ring, along with a set of complementary simulations. The OSC system will also be combined with methods in machine/reinforcement learning to establish new capabilities in advanced beam control.

The position is for a period of up to three (3) years, with the potential for extension considered on a yearly basis thereafter.

You Will

  • Perform accelerator studies focusing on beam cooling.
  • Contribute to development of a high-bandwidth, low-delay optical parametric amplifier and its use in the amplified-OSC experiment in IOTA.
  • Travel to conferences and present reports on your work.
  • Abide by all environment, safety and health regulations.
  • Contribute effectively within a diverse workforce and upholds Fermilab’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

We Are Looking For

  • Ph.D. in Experimental Physics or Engineering.
  • Laboratory experience with nonlinear optics is required.
  • Knowledge of accelerator and computational physics is preferred.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, machine/reinforcement-learning methods is preferred.
  • Respect, understand, and value individual differences that embody the principles of diversity.

Application Instructions

Interested candidates should submit via Academic Jobs Online:

For general information about this position, please contact Alexander Valishev at (

Fermilab is an Equal Opportunity Employer and believes a diverse and inclusive environment based on mutual respect is critical to our mission. Fermilab is committed to recruiting and developing the most talented people  and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military/veteran status, country of birth, geography/postal code, disability, marital status, parental or gestational status, or other non-merit factor.