Internship: The cost of erasing one optical bit

Date posted April 8, 2022
Type Scientific Internships

In 1961 Rolf Landauer made a groundbreaking discovery: Information is Physical. Landauer showed that erasing one bit of information—an elementary step in computation—requires at least kBT ln(2) of energy. Recently, optical systems have been touted as promising candidates for energy efficient computing. However, the optical analog of Landauer’s limit (bounding the energy efficiency of optical computers) is still unknown. Establishing this limit requires, first of all, to define a temperature for light. Over the past years, our group has made important progress in this direction by developing a new framework called ‘Stochastic Thermodynamics of Light’. In this project, you will contribute to construct and experimentally demonstrate the principles of this framework when applied to the simplest information-processing optical system: a cavity storing one bit of information in light. This project has both an experimental and a theoretical part. The balance can be adjusted depending on your interests.

About the group

In the Interacting Photons group we search for new physics emerging from nonlinear and quantum behavior of light.  We focus on nano-scale systems where light and matter interact strongly, and information can be stored in the state of light within the system. We have strong connections to other groups in the Netherlands, France, and UK. You will have extensive support from the group leader and the technical staff at AMOLF. You will have access to a world-wide unique experimental setups, and you will collaborate with both experimental and theory oriented group members.


You have a Bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry or biology and will participate in a Master study during the entire internship period. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. Please note: As of January 2021 the UK is no longer an EU member state. You must be available for at least 6 months.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your AMOLF supervisor.

Contact info

dr. Said R. K. Rodriguez
Group leader Interacting Photons
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  List of followed courses plus grades.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment. Hence, we greatly encourage candidates from any personal background and perspective to apply.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.