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Deadline: 2020-01-31
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

PhD studentships in Cosmology, Newcastle, UK

Dear all,

The Cosmology and Quantum Gravity group at Newcastle University (UK) is pleased to advertise 3 funded PhD studentships in cosmology to begin in autumn 2020. Positions are available in the following areas of study.

1. The cosmic large-scale structure: The cosmic large-scale structure is the skeleton of matter on the largest scales in the Universe. Galaxies trace this large-scale skeleton of dark matter and form in large gravitationally bound dark matter structures. With major upcoming galaxy surveys like Euclid and LSST, we will be able to track the growth of structure through time across large volumes. This will provide a cosmic laboratory for testing cosmology, fundamental physics and astrophysics with the large-scale structure. To extract the maximum amount of information from galaxy surveys, we need a) accurate models for the gravitational dynamics of the dominant dark matter component, and b) powerful statistics that capture key aspects of gravitational clustering. This PhD project will tackle these two intertwined challenges.
First, we will use novel techniques to describe gravitational dark matter dynamics, for example using the quantum-classical correspondence. The goal is to develop new analytical and computational tools to solve for the time-evolution of dark matter and hunt for signatures of particular dark matter candidates. Second, we will develop clustering statistics that capture non-Gaussian properties of the late-time matter distribution. The idea is to use a sweet spot of simple statistics that are easy to measure, and can be accurately predicted into the nonlinear regime. With this, we will seek to improve the standard analysis relying on two-point statistics to obtain unique insights into cosmology, fundamental physics and astrophysics.

Advisor: Dr Cora Uhlemann (c.uhlemann[AT]damtp.cam.ac.uk)

2. Observational cosmology in a data-rich era: Cosmology is enjoying an era of unprecedented data abundance, with powerful observations already available and next-generation surveys on the immediate horizon. This wealth of data provides an exciting opportunity to pin down the nature of the mysterious dark energy which makes up 70% of the Universe.
This PhD project will develop crucial, cutting-edge techniques for the analysis of modern cosmological survey data, and will apply these and other techniques to existing data in order to achieve new insight into the composition, history, and physical laws of our Universe.

Advisor: Dr Danielle Leonard (Danielle.Leonard[AT]newcastle.ac.uk)

3. Measuring gravity and accretion using pulsars: Neutron stars are extremely dense cinders remaining after stellar explosions. They often have strong magnetic fields and rotate rapidly, and this combination often results in their appearing to pulsate with extreme regularity. We call these objects “pulsars”, and their measurable rotation provides an opportunity to take precision measurements in some of the most extreme astrophysical environments accessible to observation. This project will use existing observations and request and carry out new observations of pulsar systems. These observations will strongly constrain theoretical models of how matter falls onto neutron stars, and in fact probe the details of how gravity works – does it behave as Einstein predicted?

Advisor: Dr Anne Archibald (Anne.Archibald[AT]newcastle.ac.uk)

Application details may be found online:
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/sources/allstudents/msp022.html
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/sources/ukeustudents/msp019.html


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