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Charge conservation and cloud formation in planet atmospheres

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 06, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

As result of formation and evolution processes, exoplanets can have hugely different properties, e.g. giant gas planets, rocky planets, mini-neptunes. Today’s best constrained exoplanets are short period, hot Jupiters which show `muted’ molecular features, enhanced Rayleigh scattering slopes in the optical, and dynamic features like onsets in the brightest optical emission of the planet. These features arise from a globally circulating and cloud forming atmosphere which is driven by an intense irradiation field from the host star. Both, dynamics and radiation ionise cloud particles. In order to understand the myriad of observational data from present (HST, Spitzer) and future space missions (CHEOPS, JWST, Ariel, PLATO), a thorough understanding of the cloud formation processes is required. The key processes to cloud formation, nucleation and surface growth, will be studied under the effect of ionisation. The effect of ionised particles is essential for cloud formation on Earth but little is known for exoplanets.

This project is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) CHAMELEON “Virtual Laboratories for Exoplanets and Planet Forming Disks”. The ITN combines the expertise of eight European research institutes (Universities of St Andrews, Groningen, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Leuven and Antwerp, the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research) to cover all relevant aspects for this complex modelling task, joining the expertise in planetary atmospheres and protoplanetary disks, including observation and interpretation. For a complete list of all open PhD positions within this training network please visit http://chameleon.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/

The selected PhD students will be offered a fully funded PhD place at the University of St Andrews’ Centre for Exoplanet Science with training secondment for this position foreseen at the University of Copenhagen, with additional short training at the University of Groningen. The PhD student will receive a double degree from St Andrews and from Copenhagen. The funding will be commensurate to the standard scale for PhD students in according to the Marie-Curie funding rules. The successful PhD applicants will have to register at, and comply with, the regulations of the St Leonard’s Postgraduate College at the University of St Andrews and the rules from the University of Copenhagen. The successful PhD applicants will follow a doctoral programme including personal training in management, science communication, and teaching.

Funding Notes

CHAMELEON PhD studentships open to any nationality. However, Marie S Curie Actions have two strict eligibility criteria:

1. Applicant must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (starting from the moment a degree is obtained that gives eligiblity to study for a PhD) and not have a doctoral degree. Adjustments can be made for career breaks.

2. Applicant must not have resided/carried out their main activity (e.g. work/studies) in the country where they have been recruited for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the recruitment date (PhD start date).

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Physics?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 36.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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