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Applied Physicist for laser spectroscopy and polarised beams

Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date
9 Jun 2022
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Job Details

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


Are you a skilled Applied Physicist who is passionate about setting up laser systems and designing experimental setups at radioactive ion beam facilities? CERN, take part!


You will join:

  • Experimental Physics Department (EP), which carries out basic research in the field of experimental physics. It aims to provide a stimulating scientific atmosphere and remains an important reference centre for the European physics community. It contributes to the education and training of young scientists.
  • ISOLDE Section (IS) within the Small and Medium Experiments Group (SME), which carries out different experiments with unstable nuclei provided by the ISOLDE facility. It consists of several staff members, CERN fellows and doctoral students, and many users working with the different experimental setups.
  • VITO team performing versatile studies with spin-polarised unstable nuclei.

You will take a leading role in the ERC project devoted to the determination of the distribution of magnetisation in unstable nuclei.


  • Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of experimental physics or a related field.


  • Proven experience in laser spectroscopy and optical pumping on radioactive-ion beams.
  • Experience in building laser-spectroscopy beamlines and setting up tunable laser systems for studies on short-lived nuclei.
  • Experience in operation and optimisation of linear Paul traps for the generation of pulsed radioactive ion beams.
  • Having worked at the ISOLDE facility and/or knowing some of its physics program would an asset.
  • Experience in putting together laser laboratories and being responsible for laser safety would be an asset.
  • Having-worked with rf excitations and radiation detectors would be an asset.

Technical competencies:

  • Simulation, design and development of physics experiments, including vacuum aspects, and optical and radiation detection.
  • Simulation, design and development of optical systems, including setting up tunable lasers and frequency-doubling units and designing long optical paths.
  • Assembly and integration of experiments, including radioactive-ion beam setups and laser aspects.
  • Operation of experiments, especially in on-line conditions with externally predefined time constraints.
  • Knowledge and application of electromagnetic radiation propagation and interaction with matter, for example lasers and radiofrequency radiation.
  • Knowledge of non-ionization radiations hazards and protection, in view of acting as the safety responsible.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them; finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: demonstrating openness to new ideas and situations; being willing to work on different projects simultaneously.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: being receptive to others' ideas and building on them; sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer.

Language skills:

  • Spoken and written English. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • Ability to understand and speak French will be an advantage.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 09.06.2022 at 12:00 (mid-day) CET.

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (3 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-SME-IS-2022-51-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist


Imagine taking part in the largest scientific experiment in the world. CERN needs more than physicists and engineers – if you’re a student, a graduate, just starting your career or an experienced professional, Whatever your field of expertise, CERN could be your next opportunity: take part!

CERN is a truly unique organisation. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge.

People here are part of immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and pushing the boundaries of understanding. Experts from every field come here to share in this ambition and the nature of this collaborative, international community creates a genuine atmosphere of trust. People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organisation.

History’s being made here – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

CERN. Take part.

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