Experimental Nuclear Physics Postdoctoral Research Associate

What You Will Do

The P-3 group in Physics division is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work in the Low Energy

Nuclear Physics Team on first experiments with a neutron target. The successful candidate will work on an interdisciplinary team to develop, field, and perform the first ever measurement of neutron capture with a heavy ion beam impinging on a standing neutron target. This development of the Neutron Target Demonstrator (NTD) will take place at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE).

Performance of the first inverse kinematics measurement of neutron capture with the NTD will bring together researchers with a wide range of backgrounds and skills. As such, we encourage applicants from traditional low-energy nuclear physics backgrounds to apply, and we also welcome those with expertise or background in fields such as ion transport, experimental targets, material characterization, or spallation physics to inquire and apply.

There are additional opportunities to develop the suite of instruments located at LANSCE and that are part of P-3's external measurement programs. At LANSCE, tools include the Detector for Advanced Neutron Capture Experiments (DANCE), the Low-Energy (n,Z) (LENZ) instrument, the Correlated Gamma Neutron Array for SCattering (CoGNAC), the Spatially Resolved Fission Tracker (SReFT), the SPecrometer for Ion DEtermination Research (SPIDER), and the Device for Indirect Capture Experiments on Radionuclides (DICER). The team is actively involved in developing new instruments to take advantage of the primary proton beam and unique time-of-flight neutron beams that are available at LANSCE.

Research areas in the group include studies of nuclear astrophysics (s-process, r-process, heavy element synthesis), nuclear structure (gamma-ray spectroscopy, level density, photon strength function), nuclear reactions, and studies of the fission mechanism. The team is tightly coupled to the LANL nuclear physics and astrophysics theory group as well as to the modeling and simulation teams in theoretical design and computational physics in the computer and computation sciences division. The intense neutron spallation sources at LANSCE are used in much of this work and cover a neutron energy range from sub-thermal to 800 MeV. Outside Los Alamos, we pursue measurements studying the underlying nuclear physics to infer nuclear reaction rates for short-lived nuclei.

There may be additional opportunities for collaborative work with scientists from other groups or divisions at LANL. Highly qualified applicants will be considered for Director's or Agnew National Security Postdoctoral Fellowships with exceptional candidates being considered for the prestigious Darlene Christian Hoffman, Richard P. Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Fellowships
What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant area of nuclear physics, particle physics, astrophysics, nuclear engineering, or related areas to support the current and future experimental physics program
  • Ability to carry out independent and collaborative research
  • Ability to communicate both technically and interpersonally both orally and in writing


A Ph.D. in Physics or a related field completed within the last five years or soon to be completed is required. Exceptions can be made to the five-year time-frame-please inquire if this is relevant.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience in particle or gamma-ray detector development and/or implementation
  • Experience with Monte Carlo based particle/gamma-ray simulation tools
  • Experience with detector electronic hardware and/or data acquisition design and development
  • Experience with ion beam production or transport, including ion sources, ion acceleration, and storage rings
  • Experience with nuclear reaction models

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Note to Applicants:

  • Please send any questions for details or information to Andrew Cooper, who is co-chairing the search committee.
  • In addition to applying on-line, please send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter summarizing relevant qualifications, research, and career goals, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to Andrew Cooper (alcooper@lanl.gov).
  • Candidates may be considered for a Director's Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Marie Curie, Richard P. Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Frederick Reines or Harold Agnew Fellowships.
  • General information on the postdoc program, including salary guidelines, can be found on the LANL Postdoc Program webpage.
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

§ PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

§ Dental and vision insurance

§ Free basic life and disability insurance

§ Paid childbirth and parental leave

§ Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)

§ Onsite gyms and wellness programs

§ Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

Position does not require a security clearance. Selected candidates will be subject to drug testing and other pre-employment background checks.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.