KESÄTÖIHIN ALKEISHIUKKASFYSIIKAN JA ASTROFYSIIKAN OSASTOLLE

Summer jobs in the Division of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

The Division of Particle Physics and Astrophysics has strong theoretical and experimental research in its research fields.

Open positions for summer work include:

A) Summer trainee positions in computational particle physics and cosmology

The computational field theory group is looking for 2-3 summer trainees to work on particle physics and cosmology using large-scale numerical simulations.

Research topics include: Beyond the Standard Model theories (especially technicolor and related models), QCD at high temperature and/or density, phase transitions in the early universe, topological defects, primordial gravitational wave production, and algorithmic development.

There is an opportunity for one student to spend part of the time visiting the University of Sussex in the UK, under the supervision of Dr David Weir (Helsinki Institute of Physics) and Visiting Professor Mark Hindmarsh (Helsinki and Sussex Theoretical Particle Physics research group).

The positions are available for three months in May-August 2017 (exact dates to be agreed), and are best suited to theoretical physics students with good programming skills. Projects are chosen according to the experience and preference of the trainees, and can form the basis for either a Bachelor or a Master thesis.

For more information, see
http://theory.physics.helsinki.fi/~qftgroup/
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tpp

Contact person:
Prof. Kari Rummukainen
kari.rummukainen(at)helsinki.fi


B) Summer student positions in neutron star physics

1-2 summer student positions are available in a project centered around the physics of cold and dense quark matter within neutron stars. The research applies the methods of theoretical particle physics and statistical mechanics, so the applicants are expected to have successfully taken the courses Quantum mechanics I and II as well as Statistical Physics by the early summer.

Contact person:
Aleksi Vuorinen,
aleksi.vuorinen(at)helsinki.fi


C) Theoretical Extragalactic astrophysics

We are looking for 2-3 summer trainees with a background in astrophysics and/or theoretical physics combined with good programming skills to join the Theoretical Extragalactic research group for a three-month period over the summer. The research topics on offer include:

1) Simulations of the Local Group of galaxies: We look for a skilled summer trainee to perform and analyse numerical simulations run on the CSC supercomputing cluster. The simulations depict the formation of the Local Group of galaxies and in this project a special emphasis is laid on understanding the influence of the surrounding large-scale structure on the properties of the Local Group galaxies. Prior knowledge of galaxy formation theory is advantageous for this project.

2) Regularized dynamics of supermassive black holes: A summer trainee is sought for a project related to numerical modelling of the dynamics of supermassive black holes in galaxy mergers. The aim of the project is to use the new simulation code, of the black holes can be studied all the way to the gravitational wave driven final phase. Prior knowledge of celestial mechanics and galactic dynamics are advantageous for this project.

3) Radiation transfer near compact objects: We look for a skilled summer trainee to work on the numerical investigation of light propagation in curved space-times near compact massive objects. The aim is to produce physically accurate mock observations of phenomena such as neutron star hotspots or multiply lensed accretion discs. Prior knowledge of General relativity is very advantageous for this project.

When applying please indicate your preference for the research topic. All three research topics could also form the basis for either a Bachelor or a Master thesis in Astronomy, Theoretical physics or a related field.

For more information see: http://www.helsinki.fi/~phjohans/Site/Group.html

Contact person:
Associate Prof. Peter Johansson
peter.Johansson(at)helsinki.fi


D) An open position for a summer trainee in Planetary Science

We are looking for a summer trainee with a background in astrophysics and/or theoretical physics combined with good programming skills to join the research group for a three-month period over the summer. The research topics on offer include but are not necessarily limited to:

1) Prediction of stellar occultations by solar-system objects

The Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) is the largest characterize survey for transneptunian objects (http://www.ossos-survey.org). The survey will provide a accurate orbits and absolute magnitudes, but to constrain diameters (and, further, albedos) we will utilize stellar occultations by these TNOs. The astrometric reference system from the recent Gaia Data Release 1 is likely to allow occultation predictions more accurate than earlier anticipated. The trainee will develop and carry out simulations to assess the accuracy of occultation predictions using the OpenOrb software (https://github.com/oorb/oorb).

2) Detection of solar-system objects in Euclid data

ESA's Euclid mission is primarily a cosmology project but it will also detect some 100,000 asteroids. The Euclid data is valuable for, e.g., the spectral classification of the detected asteroids. Due to the relatively long exposure times asteroid detections will be trailed. This makes it nontrivial to extract the scientifically valuable information. We have recently developed a software for streak detection and characterization in astronomical images. The software is optimized for space debris and the trainee will carry out simulations to assess how well it works for asteroids in Euclid images. The trainee is also expected to provide suggestions on how to improve the streak detection software and/or its configuration to produce better results when analyzing Euclid data.

When applying please indicate your preference for the research topic. Both research topics could also form the basis for either a Bachelor or a Master thesis.

Contact person:

Mikael Granvik
mikael.granvik(at)helsinki.fi


E) Two open positions for summer trainees in Planetary Science

1) Asteroid physical characterization

We are looking for a summer trainee with astrophysics, physics or theoretical physics background for the retrieval of asteroid surface properties from astronomical observations, e.g., at the Nordic Optical Telescope and at the European Southern Observatory. The subject entails the application of the novel numerical spectrometric, photometric, and polarimetric methods developed within the ERC Advanced Grant he subject, one of the central challenges the human kind is currently facing, entails the development of statistical methods for high-dimensional inverse problems. The research can lead to B.Sc. or M.Sc. theses (with prospects for a Ph.D. thesis).

2) Spherical albedo and net radiation of planet Earth We are looking for a summer trainee with theoretical astrophysics, theoretical physics, and/or mathematics background for the retrieval of the Earth's spherical albedo and net radiation from the radiative perturbations on the Earth-orbiting artificial satellites. The subject, one of the central challenges the human kind is currently facing, entails the development of statistical methods for high-dimensional inverse problems. The research can lead to B.Sc. or M.Sc. theses (with prospects for a Ph.D. thesis).

Contact persons:
Karri Muinonen
karri.muinonen(at)helsinki.fi
Antti Penttilä
antti.i.penttila(at)helsinki.fi


How to apply:

Those interested in the positions are asked to fill the e-form. Deadline for the applications is 5.2.2017.
Based on the applications, some of the applicants will be invited to an interview in February. Filling of the positions will announced by 10.3.2017.