- Close date
- Thursday, 3 December 2020
- Academic background
- Host campus
- Dr Jonathan Squire
We have an opening in the space and astrophysical plasmas group for PhD study in the area of planet formation. Although observations show that planets form easily around young stars, the physics of how solids grow from the smallest dust grains up to gravitationally bound planets remains uncertain. The project will explore how dust-induced fluid-dynamical instabilities in protoplanetary disks could help clump solids to form boulder-sized objects then planetesimals. This process must happen quickly to form planets before the solids are dragged into the central star. The project will involve numerical simulations of fluid-dust interaction in disks, combined with the development of analytic theories to explain the processes that we model. It is well suited to a motivated student with a technical background in physics or mathematical modelling. Programming experience and knowledge of fluid dynamics and/or astrophysics would also be desirable.
The student would be expected to obtain funding through the University of Otago PhD scholarship program, which offers financial support and a fee waiver.
If this sounds interesting to you, please email Dr Jonathan Squire for more information.