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The cosmic distance ladder

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Pimbblet
    Prof B Gibson
  • 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 determining and calibrating a new method for measuring distances to galaxies throughout the cosmos.

In everyday life, we can easily determine the length of something by using a tape measure or ruler. Things get more complicated at larger distances: in the Solar System, we rely on Doppler measurements to infer the distances to other planets. However, when we want to obtain the distances to other stars and galaxies, we must employ entirely new methods, building upon nearer local ‘calibrators’ to reach more distant rungs of the so-called ‘cosmic distance ladder’.

A large variety of distance indicators now exist: standard candles such as Type 1a supernovae (exploding stars in binary systems), have not only provided us with the distances to many external galaxies, but also led to the profound, Nobel-Prize winning discovery, that the Universe is accelerating in its expansion.

In this project, the PhD student will follow in the footsteps of these momentous discoveries by providing new calibrations and novel distance indicators for various length scales along the cosmic distance ladder. This will be accomplished through the careful marriage of high quality observational data and large-scale simulations of vast volumes of the Universe.

The ideal candidate will already have experience in handling either extra-galactic observational or simulation datasets in astronomy, computer-programming skills, and excellent communication skills.

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.

Related Subjects

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