Summer jobs in particle physics and astrophysics

Deadline for applications 31 January 2019
Apply here

1. Space physics

Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki (UH) is looking for several summer trainees. Summer trainees will work with space weather simulation Vlasiator and with the projects investigating solar eruptions in the corona and interplanetary space. Both projects dealing with modelling and data analysis are possible. Experience with Python and basics of plasma physics are a plus, but not required. Summer trainee positions offer an excellent chance also for BSc and MSc theses. Examples of possible thesis topics can be found from https://blogs.helsinki.fi/spacephysics/msc-thesis-topics/.

For possible questions about summer trainee positions, please contact minna.palmroth(at)helsinki.fi, emilia.kilpua(at)helsinki.fi

The UH Space Physics Group is a leading European space physics team specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. For example, we develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator and have a strong focus on solar eruptions. We have a dynamic and international research group with currently about 20 members including three professors and several post-docs and PhD students. The recently established Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space is led by the UH Space Physics Group. For more information, please visit:

 

2. Theoretical Extragalactic astrophysics

We are looking for summer trainees with an interest in both theoretical astrophysics and theoretical physics combined with good programming skills to join the Theoretical Extragalactic astrophysics research group for a three-month period over the summer.

The research projects on offer are related to the KETJU-project, which was recently funded by the European Research Council. In this project the aim is to use the newly developed simulation code KETJU to model the dynamics of supermassive black holes in galaxy mergers. Using KETJU the large-scale structure of galaxies can be studied, while simultaneously resolving accurately the small-scale dynamics close to the supermassive black holes. Crucially, the KETJU code enables the direct calculation of the gravitational wave energy output from massive merging black holes using Post-Newtonian correction terms.

Specifically, the research topics on offer include: 

1) Modelling the formation of cored early-type galaxies: In this project the goal is to use numerical simulations to study the effect of binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) on the central structure of massive elliptical galaxies. The interaction between the SMBH and the surrounding stars tend to eject stars from the centre of the galaxy and using KETJU this process can be studied in detail. Good computing skills and knowledge of galaxy formation theory and galactic dynamics are advantageous for this project.

2) Gravitational waves from merging supermassive black holes: In the final stages of the merger of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) binary copious amounts of gravitational waves will be emitted. Using the Post-Newtonian formalism in KETJU the gravitational wave energy spectrum as a function of frequency can be calculated based on the relative orbital motion of the SMBH binary. Good computing skills and prior knowledge of general relativity and galactic dynamics are advantageous for this project.

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 in Astrophysics, Theoretical physics or a related field. For advanced students there is also a possibility to continue with a PhD thesis project after the successful completion of the Master thesis.

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

Contact person:  Prof. Peter Johansson   peter.johansson[at]helsinki.fi

 

3. Bringing fundamental physics to everyday life  (theoretical particle physics)

1 job position

This project is all about changing the initial conditions that led to our universe. It is to be done in pieces and phases, from calculations and fun imaginations to computer coding and simulations. You can get involved in whichever piece or phase interests you.

The small world of particle physics is filled with fundamental parameters which are deeply connected with the big things in the universe. We will study the effect of changing the fundamentals of nature (such as the mass of the electron, the strength of the electromagnetic force, the speed of light, the Newton’s constant, etc.) and follow the evolution of the universe. We will look at this made-up universe at different scales. For example, we study what the solar system would look like if the force of gravity was stronger, or what the CMB would look like if the universe was expanding faster.

We are looking to turn this project into an interactive website/app or series of books/videos with the fundamental parameters of nature as input and simulations/snap-shots of the universe as output.

If you want to get an understanding of the Big Picture and learn to explain physics to your grandmother as a bonus, this project is for you!

Contact person:  Venus Keus   venus.keus@helsinki.fi

 

4.  Euclid

Fysiikan osaston Euclid-tutkimusryhmässä on tarjolla harjoittelijan paikka kesällä 2019.

Euclid on Euroopan avaruusjärjestön ESA:n kosmologiasatelliitti, joka on määrä laukaista avaruuteen vuonna 2022. Euclid on alkavan vuosikymmenen tärkein kosmologiaprojekti. Euclidin päämääränä on kartoittaa materian jakauma maailmankaikkeudessa ja maailmankaikkeuden laajenemishistoria, ja viime kädessä selvittää pimeän energian olemus. Tätä tarkoitusta varten Euclid mittaa miljoonien galaksien täsmälliset paikat ja punasiirtymät, ja lisäksi gravitaatiolinssi-ilmiön aiheuttaman muodon vääristymän yli miljardista galaksista. Satelliitissa on kaksi instrumenttia, joista toinen kartoittaa taivasta näkyvän valon alueella (VIS) ja toinen infrapuna-alueella (NISP). Lisätietoa Euclid-projektista saa mm. ESA:n nettisivuilta: http://sci.esa.int/euclid/.

Euclidin datankäsittely on jaettu yhdeksän datankäsittelykeskuksen kesken, joista yksi (SDC-FI) sijaitsee Suomessa. Suomen datankäsittelykeskus operoi CSC:n koneilla, jotka fyysisesti sijaitsevat Kajaanissa.

Helsingin yliopiston fysiikan osaston Euclid-tutkimusryhmää johtaa Hannu Kurki-Suonio. Tutkimusryhmä vastaa Suomen datankäsittelykeskuksen ylläpidosta. Olemme mukana tuottamassa simulaatiota joita käytetään kehitettäessä datankäsittelymenetelmiä Euclidin tarpeisiin. Olemme aktiivisesti mukana työryhmässä, joka kehittää menetelmiä NISP-instrumentin mittaaman galaksijakauman tilastolliseen analysointiin. Tärkeitä työkaluja tässä ovat kaksi- ja kolmipistekorrelaatiofunktio, jotka kuvaavat materian tiheysjakauman statistiset ominaisuudet.

Vuoden 2019 Euclid-konsortiokokous järjestetään Helsingissä Finlandia-talolla 3.-7.6.2019. Kokoukseen odotetaan noin 400 osllistujaa eri puolilta maailmaa.

Harjoittelijan tehtäviin kuuluu aluksi toimia avustajana konsortiokokouksessa. Kokouksen jälkeen tehtävät liittyvät simuloitujen galaksijakaumien tilastolliseen käsittelyyn. Täsmällinen sisältö tarkentuu kevään aikana. Paikallaolo konsortiokokouksessa on välttämätöntä, muuten harjoitteluajasta voidaan neuvotella.

Euclidiin liittyen järjestetään keväällä 2019 kosmologian erikoiskurssi

PAP 341 Galaxy Survey Cosmology

http://www.courses.physics.helsinki.fi/teor/gsc/

Tehtävästä kiinnostuneiden on suositeltavaa suorittaa kurssi kevään aikana. Valinnassa kiinnitetään huomiota yleiseen opintomenestykseen. Ohjelmointitaito katsotaan eduksi.

Lisätietoja:  Elina Keihänen   elina.keihanen@helsinki.fi

 

5.  Gravitational wave cosmology

The computational quantum field theory research group https://blogs.helsinki.fi/computational-field-theory/

is searching for summer trainees interested in particle physics and cosmology, and preferably also in computational methods.  The positions are for 3 months, with exact dates to be agreed upon.

In the gravitational wave cosmology project we are studying gravitational wave production in exotic particle physics processes in the very early Universe.  The produced gravitational waves may be observable with the European Space Agency's LISA gravitational wave mission, scheduled for launch in 2034.  This yields a unique window to the early Universe and to the particle physics processes which can produce gravitational waves.

The summer trainee research projects are chosen according to the experience and preference of the trainees. The research projects can form the basis for either a Bachelor or a Master thesis.

Visualisations of past research, including some by previous summer trainees, can be seen at

https://vimeo.com/user65863371

For more information: Kari Rummukainen kari.rummukainen [at]helsinki.fi.