Discs around giant protoplanets


For any queries regarding this project feel free to contact Dr O. Panic at 0113 3430054 or o.panic@leeds.ac.uk

Project description

Jupiter’s satellites and rings suggest that a circumplanetary disc (CPD) surrounded this planet as it was being formed, just like the coplanar orbits of the planets in the Solar system remind us that a larger, circum-stellar disc once surrounded the young Sun. Circumplanetary discs (CPDs) only form around giant planets like Saturn and Jupiter, and are currently a hot topic in astrophysics.

A successful candidate will work under supervision of Dr. O. Panic' and Dr. S. van Loo in Leeds, on  developing state-of-the-art hydrodynamical models of CPDs. These models is enable us investigate the effects the dust has on observability with ALMA, which we will use to detect and characterise CPDs. This line of research holds the promise of directly discovering at what orbital distance these planets are formed before they begin to migrate to their final orbits dynamically perturbing the entire planetary system.

The models will link the birth locations in the larger parent circum-stellar disc to the properties of planets which are formed, such as mass and chemical composition. Observations, on the other hand, will tell us where these planets are being formed.

With a PhD project on this topic a successful student would be well placed to become one of the future experts, because such studies are still in their infancy.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting, an honours degree in a relevant discipline, a Master's degree in a relevant discipline, or both. This project combines theoretical modelling with simulations and observations. For this reason demonstrable experience with programming is highly preferred.

Additional staff contact

Dr. S. van Loo

How to apply

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Final deadline for applications is March 4th with the first interviews starting already from February 21st.

For queries regarding the application process contact physics.pg.admissions@leeds.ac.uk. Reference letters must be sent by the referees directly to physics.pg.admissions@leeds.ac.uk.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.