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Discs around giant protoplanets: Study linking theoretical models with emerging observational evidence

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  • Full or part time
    Dr O Panic
    Dr S Van Loo
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Jupiter’s satellites and rings suggest that a circumplanetary disc (CPD) surrounded this planet as it was being formed, just like the coplanar orbits of the planets in the Solar system remind us that a larger, circum-stellar disc once surrounded the young Sun. Circumplanetary discs (CPDs) only form around giant planets like Saturn and Jupiter, and are currently a hot topic in astrophysics.

A successful candidate will work under supervision of Dr. O. Panic’ and Dr. S. van Loo in Leeds, on developing state-of-the-art hydrodynamical models of CPDs. These models is enable us investigate the effects the dust has on observability with ALMA, which we will use to detect and characterise CPDs. This line of research holds the promise of directly discovering at what orbital distance these planets are formed before they begin to migrate to their final orbits dynamically perturbing the entire planetary system.

The models will link the birth locations in the larger parent circum-stellar disc to the properties of planets which are formed, such as mass and chemical composition. Observations, on the other hand, will tell us where these planets are being formed. With a PhD project on this topic a successful student would be well placed to become one of the future experts, because such studies are still in their infancy.

This project combines theoretical modelling with simulations and observations. For this reason demonstrable experience with programming is highly preferred. Full funding for this project is secured through the Royal Society award of Dr O. Panic’, for PhD project duration of up to 4 years. The starting date will be agreed with the candidate, but must be before October 1 2018 at the latest. Reference letters must be sent by the referees directly to [Email Address Removed]. Final deadline for applications is March 4th with the first interviews starting already from February 21st. For queries regarding the application process contact [Email Address Removed]. For any other queries regarding this project feel free to contact Dr O. Panic at 0113 3430054 or [Email Address Removed].

Astrophysics in Leeds offers a vibrant research environment with 8 staff members conducting active research in Star and Planet Formation, from theoretical modelling to state-of-the-art observations, with close ties to the related research in Maths, Chemistry and Earth and Environment at Leeds. We welcome applications from all qualified applicants. Applications will be considered based on merit and regardless of ethnicity, gender or nationality.

Any new applicants are now asked to alert Dr O. Panic of their submitted application by sending an email with Subject: PhD application, name, surname to [Email Address Removed]. This is not obligatory, but will help process their applications faster.

Funding Notes

Fully funded PhD project

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