Staff Physicist - R&D

Location: Seattle, Washington

Team: IconiQ Labs - Research & Development

Type: Full-Time

IonQ is developing the world's most powerful full-stack quantum computer based on trapped-ion technology. We are pushing past the limits of classical physics and current supercomputing technology to unlock a new era of computing. Quantum computing has the potential to impact every area of human society for the better. IonQ’s computers will soon redefine industries like medicine, materials science, finance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptography, and more. IonQ is at the forefront of this technological revolution.


We are looking for Applied and Theoretical Physicists (all levels) to support a variety of R&D projects. As a member of the R&D organization, you will be part of a cross-functional team whose mission is to lead IonQ on its journey to build the world’s best quantum computers to solve the world’s most complex problems. 

In this role you’ll work alongside physicists, scientists, optical engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, and device fabrication experts to tackle the next generation of quantum computing problems. You will support a variety of efforts, ranging from novel quantum gate technology to system scaling, photonic interconnects and integrated circuits, advanced optomechanical systems, novel packaging, gate protocol and quantum algorithm development, and advanced ion trap technology.


  • Conduct independent and collaborative R&D to support the current and next generation of world’s best quantum computers 
  • Work closely with system and design engineers to develop integrated solutions for the next generation of quantum computers, leveraging analysis, experimental results, simulation, and physical understanding to inform designs  
  • Theoretically and numerically model quantum computer system behavior based on realistic error processes
  • Contribute to the design, build, and operation of R&D ion traps, laser, electronics, and other systems and platforms
  • Assist with the transition of technology from R&D to production, including development of first articles and technology demonstrations.
  • Mentor and technically assist other engineers and scientists

You’d be a good fit with:

  • Masters degree in Applied or Theoretical Physics, Engineering, or related field
  • Experience in applying research to relevant industry problems 
  • Demonstrated theoretical or experimental experience with one or more of the following specialties: atomic physics systems, diffraction limited optical systems, high power lasers (from UV to IR), quantum circuits, quantum algorithms and/or quantum error correction, quantum information science, atomic clocks, vacuum systems
  • Detailed understanding and laboratory experience with experimental equipment, tools, processes and/or systems
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A love of collaborating in an interdisciplinary environment

You’d be a great fit with:

  • Ph.D. degree in Applied or Theoretical Physics, Engineering, or related field
  • 3+ years experience in applying research to relevant industry problems 
  • Prior experience with trapped ion systems (or neutral atom systems), photonics, or quantum computing
  • Familiarity with atomic physics systems and applications, or quantum information science
  • Demonstrated experience with engineering or analysis languages such as C++, FORTRAN, MATLAB, or Python 

Our HQ is located in College Park, Maryland and we are a 15 minute metro ride from Washington DC. We are actively building out teams in the Washington D.C., Seattle, and Boston metro areas and will want to locate you in one of these geographies. However, IonQ will be expanding into additional geographies both domestically and internationally so don’t let this stop you from applying.
At IonQ, we believe in fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers. We empower employees to thrive by fostering a culture of autonomy, productivity, and respect. We are dedicated to creating an environment  in which any individual can feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued.
We are committed to equity and justice. We welcome different voices and viewpoints and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, and military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
If you are interested in being a part of this team and mission, we encourage you to apply.

IonQ Covid-19 Policy: IonQ requires all employees to provide proof of full vaccination for Covid-19 before starting employment.