Work Placement / Internship

Gemini Laser Experimental Physicist Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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Gemini is part of the Central Laser Facility, situated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Researchers from the UK, EU and around the world come to use our facilities to carry out a wide range of groundbreaking experiments in the physical sciences, materials research and life sciences.  

Gemini is an ultra-high intensity laser interaction facility that can generate substantial conditions of matter, comparable to the centre of a star. This incredible environment allows scientists to carry out fundamental experiments exploring relativistic plasmas, fusion mechanisms for energy production and laboratory astrophysics. Laser energy can also be converted to other forms of radiation through compact plasma acceleration schemes. These secondary sources can be used for advanced imaging applications in medicine, material science and industrial inspection. Gemini is one of the most powerful lasers in the world, and is under continuous development to maintain its world-class status! 

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Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities 

The successful student for this position will work within our team alongside our visiting scientists. Time within the roles will be shared between development projects and operating the laser or supporting experimental operations. 

This industrial placement will be encouraged to participate in and support the variety of high power laser-plasma experiments that are performed with Gemini. Requirements change with each experiment, and can vary from sourcing equipment to the design and running of plasma diagnostics, data analysis, or reconfiguring laser hardware. 

This opportunity will directly contribute to the development, testing and integration of new components or diagnostics to improve Gemini system performance. This may involve designing and constructing hardware, and/or software development. Contributing project ideas corresponding to your skills and interests is important! 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

Candidates must have a good grasp of basic physics concepts (e.g. optics, electromagnetism). The ideal applicant would have an interest in this field, and demonstrate knowledge above the expected undergraduate level. Lab experience beyond standard undergraduate labs is also highly desirable. They should be self-motivated and have the ability to work autonomously as well as within a small team. 

Do you have a drive and a passion for science? Previous experience in a customer facing environment and the ability to manage self and others would also be beneficial. The post holder must be computer literate, having at least a solid understanding of MS Office applications. An interest and previous experience in programming is useful, but not crucial.  

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • First two years of degree course in physics, or a closely related subject, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher.  
  • A-level Maths or equivalent 
  • A-level Physics or equivalent  


  • A-level Computing or further Math 
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


  • Good understanding of basic physics concepts (optics, electromagnetism, lasers)  
  • Experimental laboratory course  
  • Practical laboratory skills (this will be tested by a laboratory exercise if social distancing rules permits) 


  • Computer programming experience (e.g. MATLAB, Python, C++,) 
  • Experience working in a research or laboratory environment  
  • Knowledge of laser/optical/plasma physics theory and modelling techniques/software  

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes 


  • Effective communication skills  
  • Demonstrate good team working capabilities 
  • Highly motivated and able to work independently  
  • Good problem-solving skills  
  • Responsible approach to health and safety  


  • Computer programming experience (e.g. MATLAB, Python, C++,) 

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Opportunity Overview

  • October 31st, 2021
  • £20,129 + benefits
  • 2:1 and above (expected)
  • Year-long
  • Didcot, Oxfordshire
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Physics
  • Science

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