PhD Studentship Sun-quakes and star-quakes.

To celebrate the University’s research successes, the University of Hull is offering 13 full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursaries for candidates applying for the areas within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, including this one.

Closing date: – 3rd February 2014.
Studentships will start on 29th September 2014

Supervisors: Dr Sergei Zharkov , 01482 465842, Department of Physics and Mathematics
Dr Sarah A. Matthews, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London

Recent stellar and asteroseismic observations from missions such as NASA’s Kepler satellite have revealed the presence of powerful flares on many distant stars. Our local equivalent, solar flares – the largest explosions in the solar system, take place in the outer layers of the solar atmosphere. They release enormous amounts of energy equivalent to millions of hydrogen bombs going off in a matter of minutes. While most of the energy is released into outer space, a portion of it travels down to the surface, sometimes violently shaking the Sun and generating acoustic waves that propagate into the interior before coming back to the surface. Such events are called sunquakes and can sometimes be seen on the solar surface as tsunami-like wavefronts accelerating outward from the point of surface impact. The enhanced acoustic emission in response to solar flares was predicted in the 70s but first observational evidence was obtained only recently with many fundamental questions about the phenomena remaining unanswered to this day

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Many stars, like the Sun, oscillate and pulsate revealing their internal properties via their frequency spectra. During its lifetime the Kepler mission has accumulated data of unprecedented quality and quantity for the study of stars, in particular through its use of asteroseismology, the study of stellar pulsations to infer internal structure and properties of the stars.

In this project we will use our growing knowledge of the solar sunquake phenomena to develop new methods and models for detecting and analysing such events on the Sun that will then be extended to stellar observations. We will develop and test new helioseismic techniques of sunquake detection and analysis from ‘Sun as a star’ measurements. We will then compare the results with the current state of the art methods leading to new insights into sunquake generation questions. We will then apply the new methods to analyse the data from stellar observations such as those from Kepler mission. The project will also provide insight into one of the outstanding questions of flare seismology research: why sunquakes are relatively rare, with many of the solar flares showing no detectable acoustic emission?

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

In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require a 2.1 in a relevant subject.

This full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£13,726 in 2013/14) 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, dependant on satisfactory progress.

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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.

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