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Postdoctoral Research Position: Warm Dense Matter Experimentalist


Employer:  Institute for Shock Physics
Job Number:  4015548
Date Posted:  01/30/2015
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Institute for Shock Physics (ISP) at Washington State University has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral research associate (experimentalist) to investigate the properties of warm dense matter (WDM). WDM is an extreme state of matter at temperatures and densities that fall between condensed matter and high temperature plasma. Research activities will include the design, execution and analysis of experiments to explore WDM using the ISP shock compression facilities, as well as other national user facilities. The scientific objectives are related to the investigation of novel chemical and structural changes in this regime. We are looking for a creative, self-motivated individual, who is excited about taking on the challenges of research on materials under extreme conditions. 

Only applicants who are currently in the U.S. and meet the following minimum qualifications will be considered for the position: 

A very recent Ph.D. degree in Plasma Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic Physics, or a closely related field
A strong academic background and knowledge in areas related to the properties of ionized gasses, and/or strongly interacting plasmas 
Research experience in plasma physics, high energy density materials, and measuring material properties in extreme environments
Graduate or post-graduate experience at a U.S. Academic Institution or National Laboratory
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, demonstrated via scientific publications and technical presentations
Critical thinking, good judgment, clear sense of purpose, attention to detail, and accountability, as well as good interpersonal skills necessary for functioning positively in a multi-disciplinary team 

Preferred Qualifications:
Experience in using diagnostics such as diffraction, absorption radiographs, or extended absorption fine structure measurements
Experience in using laser-interferometry techniques 
Experience using computer simulations to model experiments and analyze data

Prior experience in shock wave or warm dense matter research is desirable, but not required. However, strong experimental skills and temperament to perform single event, large scale experiments are essential. 

The salary structure is both attractive and nationally competitive. Other benefits include health/dental insurance, vacation/sick leave, retirement plans, and access to all University facilities.

APPLICATIONS
Applicants should submit a letter of application explicitly addressing the qualifications for this position and date of availability; detailed curriculum vitae; and the names, email, and addresses for three professional references to: 

Dr. James Hawreliak
Institute for Shock Physics
Washington State University
PO Box 642816
Pullman, WA 99164-2816

or via email at ispjobs@wsu.edu.

To ensure consideration, please specify the position (Postdoc: Warm Dense Matter Experimentalist) for which you are applying. We will begin reviewing submissions immediately and will continue to do so until the position is filled.

Additional information about the Institute for Shock Physics follows:

The Institute for Shock Physics
A multidisciplinary research organization within the College of Arts and Sciences, the ISP undertakes a broad range of fundamental scientific activities related to understanding condensed matter response under dynamic and static compression. Washington State University has a long and distinguished history of conducting research in dynamic compression science. In 1997, the Institute was established with support from the DOE (Defense Programs) to ensure a strong, long-term academic base for the DOE’s national security mission, and is currently funded through NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Academic Alliance (SSAA) program, WSU funds, and other extra-mural support.

Continuum-to-Atomic level understanding is the pervading scientific theme of the research activities that emphasize integration of innovative experiments with theoretical and computational advances. Multidisciplinary efforts that combine expertise in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry, and Mechanical Engineering are underway to address several exciting and challenging scientific problems. In addition to the faculty within the Institute, students and faculty from several departments within the College of Arts and Sciences and the College Engineering participate in the Institute’s research projects. Excellent research interactions are in place with the NNSA National Laboratories: Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia. 

A brief summary of the Institute’s activities follows. Experimental work, under dynamic compression, typically involves fast, time-resolved measurements in single event, impact experiments. Research projects currently underway include: time-resolved X-ray diffraction studies; pressure induced structural phase transitions; understanding of inelastic deformation and failure under dynamic loading; effect of material microstructure on dynamic deformation; chemical decomposition in energetic materials; development of fast optical methods to probe shock induced changes; effect of deformation on semiconductor properties; high pressure equation of state studies; and chemical and physical changes under static high pressures. Since Professor C. S. Yoo’s appointment in 2007, a strong static high pressure research program has complemented the shock wave effort. 

State-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities are housed in the Shock Physics Building. Inaugurated in 2003, the building was designed specifically for shock wave research and represents a unique facility among academic institutions. The major experimental research facilities available for studying physical and chemical phenomena over a large range of length and time scales include the Impact Laboratory, Laser Shock Laboratory, Static High Pressure Laboratory, and the Compact Pulsed Power Facility. Among the Institute’s research capabilities is a Computational Facility designed to complement the experimental effort. Further details may be seen at www.shock.wsu.edu.

In addition to the facilities in Pullman, WA, The Institute is also leading the development/operation of a National user facility dedicated to dynamic compression science. See below for more information about the DCS.

Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS)
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring the development of this first-of-a-kind user facility. Washington State University is partnering with the APS and collaborating with the DOE/NNSA National Laboratories (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia), Department of Defense Laboratories including the Army Research Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory, and academic institutions in developing and building the DCS infrastructure and instrumentation at Sector 35 on the APS experiment hall floor.

The DCS, with a focus on time-resolved diffraction and imaging measurements in materials subjected to dynamic compression, provides in-situ, time-resolved, measurements at microscopic length scales to achieve a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms governing a broad range of time-dependent, condensed matter phenomena (structural transformations, inelastic deformation and fracture, and chemical reactions) under dynamic loading. Such measurements are also essential for validating multi-scale modeling of the key materials phenomena under shock wave and shockless compression. 

The energies (hard s) and the time-structure (ns-separated pulses) of the APS s are uniquely suited to examine time-dependent changes in materials subjected to a broad range of peak stresses (~ 1 GPa to well above 200 GPa) and time-durations (tens to several hundred ns). The DCS, with its emphasis on condensed matter and materials science activities using a variety of dynamic compression platforms, is an excellent complement to other national user facilities that emphasize static pressure materials response, warm dense matter response, and dense plasma response. 

The DCS is an exciting and visionary scientific undertaking that integrates scientific/technical expertise across the DOE (NNSA and the Office of Science) to address both scientific and programmatic challenges. Further information about DCS may be found at www.dcs-aps.wsu.edu.

WSU is an EO/AA Educator and Employer.
  
 
Contact:  James Hawreliak 
Institute for Shock Physics
Pullman, WA 
United States
Email: 
Employer's Web Site:  Visit employer's website
Online Application: Apply for this job from Employer's website

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