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Extreme Solar Flares

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Zharkov
    Dr S Chongchitnan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

As part of its ambitious expansion plans, the University of Hull is pleased to announce the availability of 4 new PhD studentships within its flagship E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics; spanning the sub-atomic to the largest scales in the Universe, the successful candidates will enjoy a dynamic and collaborative research experience with the country’s newest astrophysics group.

This particular PhD studentship is geared towards the determination of the statistical likelihood of enormous superflares occurring on the Sun.
Major solar events give rise to episodes of severe space weather, including strong geomagnetic storms, enhanced particle radiation, pronounced ionospheric perturbations and powerful geomagnetically-induced Earth currents. Strong solar flares, particularly those in the X class with energy greater than a few times 1031 ergs, can severely disrupt technological and communication infrastructure, though these are relatively rare. The largest observed solar flares with energies substantially greater than 1033 ergs occur as infrequently as once per decade. Such direct measurements of the energy involved in solar events have only been possible since the beginning of space exploration. Thus, the frequencies of extreme solar coronal storms that may occur only once per century, or rarer, remain to be established.

The primary goal of the project is to develop a statistical framework for quantifying the probability of occurrence of the most energetic solar events, using novel statistical techniques such as Extreme-Value Statistics (EVS). The latter has long been used as a modelling tool in meteorology, engineering, and finance. Many surprising applications of EVS in astrophysics have recently been studied. In addition, we will also study implications for the occurrence of such ‘superflares’ on other Sun-like stars, as recently observed by NASA’s Kepler mission.

The ideal candidate will already have experience in solar physics or statistics; computer programming skills are highly desirable. Enthusiasm for solar physics and good communication skills are essential.

To apply for this post please click on the Apply button below.

In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,057 in 2015/16) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 30th April 2016 at the latest.

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