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Location: Warsaw, Poland

PhD position at Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw, Poland

Ph.D. program “High-luminosity black hole accretion disks – unsolved problems” at Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw, Poland

advisor: Prof. Marek A. Abramowicz (NCAC, Poland; Göteborg University, Sweden)
co-advisor: Prof. Ramesh Narayan (Harvard University, USA)
co-advisor: Dr. Aleksander Sądowski (Harvard University, USA)

Applications are invited for a four-year stipend to conduct work on the above mentioned doctorate thesis at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Warsaw.

The project goal is to develop accurate hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic numerical codes to calculate physically realistic “Slim Disk” models for black hole accretion with luminosities in the Eddington range. The problem is considered to be one of the most interesting and challenging in today’s high energy astrophysics. Slim disk models are applied to explain the observed properties of quasars, microquasars, and similar astronomical objects, which contain accreting black holes in their high luminosity states. By fitting the observed X-ray spectra (continuum and line) to those calculated from state-of-art slim disk models, and by fitting the observed variability Fourier spectra to the calculated model’s oscillatory behaviour, one can deduce fundamental properties of the accreting system, and of the black hole itself.

The student(s) will use numerical methods that have been developed by our scientific team in the last few years. The student(s) will improve and expand these methods. Initial projects include the following, which will naturally lead to other topics:
* The alpha viscosity prescription at high luminosities,
* The vertical structure of slim disks at high luminosities.

The student(s) will collaborate not only with our colleagues at the Copernicus Centre (Włodek Kluźniak, Agata Różańska) and at Harvard and MIT (Jeff McClintock, Ron Remillard), but possibly also with our collaborators at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Astronomy Institute in Prague and Silesian University in Opava in the Czech Republic, Paris Observatory and Institute d’Astrophysique in France, Göteborg University and NORDITA in Sweden, Xiamen and Peking universities in China, Kyoto University in Japan, and University of California in USA. The studies will be conducted in Warsaw, but the student(s) should be prepared for one or two long stays at Harvard University (up to a few months). The candidate should have some experience in serious numerical simulations.

Literature:
Relativistic slim disks with vertical structure A. Sądowski et al., A&A, (http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4309)
Slim disks around Kerr black holes revisited A. Sądowski, ApjS, (http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.0355)

Deadline for applications is on 16th May 2011. Decision about admission will be made in June. Studies start on 1st October 2011. The stipend fully covers all living expenses in Warsaw.

More information, and announcements about other Ph.D. projects at NCAC, at http://www.camk.edu.pl/studok/studokeng2011.html