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High Precision Nuclear Decay Measurements with Magnetic Quantum Sensors - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 06/15/2022

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher who will lead high precision measurements of nuclear decays using cryogenic magnetic microcalorimeters (MMCs, or magnetic quantum sensors) for both a fundamental physics experiment and an international nuclear safeguards application. You will lead cryogenic experiments in dilution refrigerators and adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators for high precision measurements of nuclear decays using the Decay Energy Spectrometry (DES) technique. The DES technique will be used for measurements of Pu-241 beta decays to search for a keV sterile neutrino as part of the MAGNETO-ν experiment, as well as measurements of uranium and plutonium alpha decays for material composition analysis in the context of international nuclear safeguards. You will also have the opportunity to develop new research ideas and research proposals. This position is in the Rare Event Detection group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

In this role you will 

  • Design, build, test, and operate cryogenic magnetic microcalorimeter (MMC) measurements of radioactive sources.
  • Develop data acquisition and signal processing algorithms for MMC detectors.
  • Perform data analysis using Python or ROOT, including pulse shape analysis, spectral analysis, statistical analysis, and systematic uncertainty quantification.
  • Actively communicate and work with team members and international collaborators.
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings
  • Perform independent research and develop solutions to challenging technical problems
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, or other related field.
  • Experience in cryogenic detectors or sensors operating at T < 4.2 K.
  • Experience with dilution and/or adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators.
  • Ability to work independently on technical hardware and software tasks, provide in-depth analyses, and develop technical solutions.
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, students, and other technical and administrative staff.
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills necessary to deliver presentations and prepare written reports.


Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in handling and operating magnetic microcalorimeters
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fundamental nuclear physics and neutrino physics.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years.  Eligible candidates are those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2022 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.)  For additional information, please see DOE Order 472.2

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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