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PhD in Mathematics: Magnetic Helicity Flow in the Sun and Heliosphere

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Berger
    Dr C Foullon
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Location: Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Supervisors: Professor Mitchell Berger, Dr Claire Foullon

The Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics at Exeter is one of the leading research groups of its kind in the UK. Our research encompasses the Fluid Dynamics of Weather and Climate, Theoretical Fluid Dynamics, Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Solar-Terrestrial Plasmas and Space Weather. We invite applications to study for a fully-funded PhD starting in Sept 2016.

This project will investigate the mathematics and physics of magnetic helicity transport. Applications will include plasma physics (helicity transport and decay in laboratory devices) and space physics (the atmosphere of the sun and the heliosphere).

Helicity integrals measure geometric and topological properties of a magnetic field such as twisting, writhing, and linking of field lines. While they are readily calculated in volumes with planar or spherical boundaries, other volumes of interest (e.g. cubes, tori, hemispheres) present interesting complications. Using tools from differential geometry such as the Gauss Bonnet theorem, we will develop computer codes for calculating helicity in these volumes. One applications lies in finding the net helicity flow into each hemisphere of the sun and heliosphere, taking advantage of recent and upcoming observations (e.g. SoHO, SDO, STEREO and Cluster). The expressions for helicity flow through boundaries can be employed in analysing vortex motion on surfaces.

We encourage interested applicants to browse our webpages for details of our wide-ranging research activities and further details on how to apply: http://tiny.cc/gafd-phd/

We also encourage interested applicants to contact the supervisors: Professor Mitch Berger (http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/mathematics/staff/mab215), Dr Claire Foullon (http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/mathematics/staff/cf337)

Application criteria: Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Maths, Physics, Natural Sciences or other numerate discipline.

This studentship is open to UK and EU students.

Funding Notes

3.5-year studentship: Tuition fees (UK/EU) and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates

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