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WATCHMAN – 6 kton Neutrino Experiment for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Supernova Detection

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Spooner
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Sheffield group is playing a leading part in a US-UK collaboration that is building a 6 kton neutrino detector in the UK at the Boulby Underground Laboratory. The concept is based on water Cherenkov that can be used as a remote monitor of nuclear reactor operations. Such a device has unique capability to determine the reactor cycle and state of a remote reactor, of importance for possible nuclear non-proliferation applications as well as searches for neutrinos from supernovae. The student will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the design and construction of this huge UK-based neutrino experiment and to be involved in simulations and detector development. The latter will include research to optimise the sensitivity of the device, particularly towards lower threshold. This includes work to optimise the light collection and find a cost optimum for the experiment for installation in the UK’s deep underground science facility at Boulby, which is close to the Hartlepool civil reactor. This a unique project that combines fundamental neutrino physics with contributions to humanity through participation in nuclear non-proliferation activity designed to reduce the likelihood of nuclear material production for non-civil uses.

Science Graduate School:
As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School – a community of postgraduate researchers working across biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

Funding Notes

If you submit your application after the 31 March 2019, you will be considered for any remaining funding, but please note all of our funding may be allocated in the first round.

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