Available PhD Projects



First notable solar flare of 2015

Topics that may form the basis of PhD projects in Solar plasma physics group are broadly related to: (i) The magnetic energy release in solar atmosphere (The Solar coronal heating problem) and (ii) Particle acceleration (e.g. in Solar flares, Earth magnetosphere Auroral zone, Tokamaks and Particle Accelerators as SLAC). The research work mainly involves large-scale numerical simulations (Particle-in-Cell, Vlasov and Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)). Research areas available for PhD study include:
(1) Novel particle accelerator concepts, plasma wake field acceleration;
(2) Enhanced Dissipation of MHD waves in inhomogeneous plasmas;
(3) Collisionless magnetic reconnection;
(4) Particle acceleration by dispersive Alfven waves;
(5) Electron acceleration by Langmuir waves;
(6) Radio emission mechanisms from accelerated electrons;
(7) Radio data analysis of Type III solar radio bursts from the Chilbolton LOFAR Station;

Current and Recent PhD projects include:

Callum Boocock, 2017 -- ongoing,
Project Name: Solar coronal active region dynamics 3D modelling
Project Description: Initiation of Solar coronal active region 3D modelling: i.e. Active Region (AR) heating challenge in analogy with Geo-Environmental Modelling (GEM) or Newton magnetic reconnection challenges. The goal is to identify the key mechanisms of AR magnetic energy release using MHD, multi-fluid and kinetic numerical codes with magnetic fields taken from ATST and SDO HMI magnetogram data and using 3D potential field extrapolations based on Green's function algorithm. This should give us an insight into wave dissipation versus reconnection coronal heating debate. Further details in Tsiklauri D., "Missing pieces of the solar jigsaw puzzle", Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp. 5.32-5.38 (2009). The project will have extensive use of QMUL and DiRAC HPC facilities and is very data- and CPU- intensive.

Jan Graf von der Pahlen, 2012--2016, PhD Awarded July 2017, "Collisionless magnetic reconnection in X-point collapse"

Related publications:

1. J. Graf von der Pahlen, D. Tsiklauri, "The role of electron inertia and reconnection dynamics in a stressed X-point collapse with a guide field", Astron. Astrophys. 595, A84 (2016), PDF-file.

2. J. Graf von der Pahlen, D. Tsiklauri, "The effects of ion mass variation and domain size on octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field generation in collisionless magnetic reconnection", Phys. Plasmas 22, 032905 (2015), PDF-file.

3. J. Graf von der Pahlen, D. Tsiklauri, "Octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure generation during collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse", Phys. Plasmas 21, 060705 (2014), PDF-file, Movie 1.

4. J. Graf von der Pahlen, D. Tsiklauri, "The effect of guide-field and boundary conditions on collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse", Phys. Plasmas 21, 012901 (2014), PDF-file, Movie 1, Movie 2, Movie 3, Movie 4, Movie 5, Movie 6.

Roman Pechhacker, 2010--2013, PhD Awarded July 2014, "Numerical and theoretical modelling of radio emission from solar flare electrons"

Related publications:

1. R. Pechhacker, D. Tsiklauri, "3D particle-in-cell simulation of electron acceleration by Langmuir waves in an inhomogeneous plasma", Phys. Plasmas 21, 012903 (2014), PDF-file, Movie 1, Movie 2, Movie 3, Movie 4, Movie 5.

2. R. Pechhacker, D. Tsiklauri, "Electron cyclotron maser emission mode coupling to the z-mode on a longitudinal density gradient in the context of solar type III bursts", Phys. Plasmas 19, 110702 (2012), PDF-file, Movie 1, Movie 2.

3. R. Pechhacker, D. Tsiklauri, "The effect of electron beam pitch angle and density gradient on solar type III radio bursts", Phys. Plasmas 19, 112903 (2012), PDF-file, Movie 1, Movie 2, Movie 3, Movie 4, Movie 5, Movie 6, Movie 7.

4. D. Tsiklauri, R. Pechhacker, "Heating of solar chromosphere by electromagnetic wave absorption in a plasma slab model", Phys. Plasmas 18, 042901 (2011); PDF-file.

Possible future PhD projects include: any projects (1)--(7) above. This list is not exhaustive.
PhD applicants are welcome to explore my webpage
read recent papers
http://astro.qmul.ac.uk/~tsiklauri/sp.html and
then contact me for further details about these or other possible PhD projects.
See http://astro.qmul.ac.uk/phd/how-apply for how to apply for a PhD in Astronomy at Queen Mary.

Requirements: to be enthusiastic about the research!