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Observing and understanding gravitational wave signals from black hole and neutron star mergers


Project Description

Following the first observation of gravitational waves in 2015, we have now observed around 50 signals from merging black holes and neutron stars. During your PhD, we expect to observe hundreds more signals. This PhD project involves looking for the most unique signals, such as those with highly spinning black holes exhibiting orbital precession, or binaries where the masses of the two components of the binary are very different. The project will involve obtaining a better understanding of the gravitational waves emitted by such systems; developing techniques to ensure that our searches are capable of identifying these signals buried in the detector data and ensuring that the astrophysical parameters of the system; such as the masses and spins of the black holes, are accurately measured. The search results will be used to obtain a better understanding of how these black hole and neutron star binaries are formed.

This project will be funded by the STFC.
Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 1st October 2020.
https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/physics-and-astronomy

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project. If you are applying for more than one project, please list the individual titles of the projects in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from the STFC.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents with their application:
- post high school certificates and transcripts to date
- academic CV
- personal statement
- two academic references. Your references can either be uploaded with your application, or emailed by the referee to or

Funding Notes

Tuition fee support: Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend: Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

You should have obtained, or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree in Physics , or a related subject, Alternatively, applicants with equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK will also be considered. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.50

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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