Doctoral position in Physics/ chemistry Sweden

Applied Physics, in collaboration with Atmospheric Science, at Luleå University of Technology invites applications to a PhD position in computational atomic-molecular physics and atmospheric modeling.  The program is a part of the University’s Graduate School of Space Technology. Applied Physics comprises physics with an emphasis on calculations and simulations that are closely and widely related to applications and applied research.Trapping of radiation in planetary atmospheres is of great importance for their physical and chemical conditions. In the atmosphere of our own planet water vapor accounts for most of the trapping of radiation. This is because water molecules are polar and thereby efficient absorbers of infrared and microwave radiation. On other planets in our solar system such molecules are much less abundant. In those environments short-lived complexes, commonly formed by the aggregation of two non-polar and infrared inactive molecules, account for the vast majority of the absorption of infrared and microwave radiation. The process is called collision-induced absorption and occurs because two interacting molecules aquire a dipole moment.

The PhD student will pursue computational work on collision-induced absorption to study underlying mechanisms and to provide better absorption data, in particular for gases containing N2 and CH4. A combination of classical and quantum mechanical methods will be used. The computed absorption coefficients will be entered into radiative transfer simulations for calculations of planetary spectra. These will be compared with observed planetary spectra so that conclusions about those planets’ atmospheric conditions can be drawn. In recent years observations of planetary spectra have been carried out for example with NASA’s space telescope Spitzer.  The studies proposed here are also expected to support future missions of the kind.  The calculated absorption coefficients will be made available to other scientists through appropriate data bases.

The PhD studies are four years, fulltime. This includes about 2.75 years of research and about 1.25 years of course work.  Teaching or other side duties may add up to 20%, that is an extension to a five year appointment.  The research will be pursued initially at the Luleå campus and later at the Kiruna campus.  The time spent in Kiruna will be 1 to 1.5 years and the rest will be spent in Luleå.


An individual fulfils the general eligibility requirements for the third-cycle educational programme when he or she 1) has completed a second-cycle degree, 2) has completed higher education courses worth at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 are for second-cycle courses, or 3) in some other manner, in this country or abroad, has acquired the equivalent qualifications.

Specific requirements:  Degree of Master of Science in Engineering/Degree of Master of Science (120 credits), main field of study: Physics, Chemistry, or equivalent.  Very good command of oral and written communication in English.  Previous experience with computer programming is desirable.

Read more: General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology


For further information, please contact:
Prof. Magnus Gustafsson at Applied Physics, Tel: +46-920-491983, email:

Prof. Javier Martín-Torres, Chair of Atmospheric Science, Tel: +46-980-67545, email:

Assist. Prof. Jana Mendrok at Atmospheric Science, Tel: +46-980-67540, email:

Applied Physics belongs to the division of Material Science at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics.  It is situated at the University’s Luleå campus.

Atmospheric Science belongs to the division of Space Technology at the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering.  It is situated at the University’s  Kiruna campus.

Union representatives:

SACO-Daina Dagis Telefon: +46 (0)920-493880

OFR- Lars Frisk, Telefon: +46 (0)0920-491792


You  apply for this position by clicking on the link below. Your application should include a cover letter, CV, and copies of your University diploma and transcript. Mark your application with ref no: 1582-15

Deadline for application: 15 June 2015

Ref no:1582-15