Courtesy of the RAS Job List - a PhD project related to LOFAR.
Large-scale structure from the next generation of radio surveys.
University of Sussex Astronomy Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Ilian Iliev (Sussex)
Co-supervisors: Prof. Steven Rawlings (Oxford) and Prof. Robert Nichol(Portsmouth)
Funding is available for 3 years for suitably qualified candidates, at a level of 12,940 GBP/year. Fees are fully covered for UK/EU students (and in some cases may be covered for international students) and travel funding is also available.
This PhD project will address a host of important questions related to the formation and evolution of the large-scale cosmic structures. The main topics are studying the nature of the Dark Energy component which dominates today's universe through precise measurements of the Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations and evaluating the effects of possible primordial non-Gaussianity of the initial perturbations on the large-scale structures. Both objectives will be achieved through performing and studying N-body structure formation simulations which will be among the largest ever performed, with tens to hundreds of billions of particles. These results will then be compared to data from large galaxy surveys, in particular the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the HETDEX survey and radio surveys with LOFAR. More specifically, we will simulate the LOFAR million-source survey and SDSS-3, producing mock catalogues of both galaxies and radio sources. We will use the halo model and semi-analytical galaxy formation modelling to implement galaxies and sub-structure and their evolution. The high dynamic range of these simulations will improve the statistics and allow us to connect most radio sources to individual galaxies. It will also yield a better treatment of the nonlinear source clustering and scale-dependent bias. The key objectives are to produce detailed source catalogues and radio maps to be used for understanding the survey results and design improvements for future instruments like the Square Kilometer Array. This will allow us to extract much more precise values for the basic cosmological parameters from the data and gain better understanding of the nature of Dark Energy, one of the largest mysteries in present-day science.
For more information/to apply for this project, please contact Dr. Ilian Iliev (email: I.T.Iliev [AT] sussex.ac.uk).