Open PhD position in theoretical astrophysics: Planet formation via gravitational instability
When a star forms, not all infalling gas can directly accrete onto the star because of angular momentum conservation. Instead it first falls onto a protoplanetary disk. During the main infall phase that forms the star, the mass of this disk can become so high that it becomes unstable to its own gravity. The disk then fragments into bound clumps of gas, a process that is known as planet formation via gravitational instability. In this PhD thesis we investigate under which physical conditions such bound clumps form and whether they are the progenitors of gaseous giant planets. This involves using numerical models for the collapse of the gas cloud and the formation of the protoplanetary disk as well as the formation and evolution of the bound clumps, including more physical processes. The final goal is to statistically compare the population of resulting planets with the observed extrasolar planets, in particular those at large orbital distances that were found in the last few years like HR8799bcde or 51 Eri b.
This four-years PhD position is mainly founded by the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS and shared between the University of Bern and the University of Zürich. The first two years of work will mainly take place in Bern, the remaining two in Zürich. The position is available immediately (from 1.8.2016) and a rapid start by the student would be appreciated.
The salary will be determined according to regulations of the Swiss National Science Foundation with a typical starting salary around 3100 CHF/month. The institutes are actively seeking to increase the numbers of women in physics and hence women are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested applicants should send their curriculum vitae, a half-page motivation letter, the grades obtained at university, and the contact details to both
Prof. C. Mordasini, University of Bern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. R. Helled, University of Zürich, email@example.com
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