PhD Studentship: Modelling the Partially Ionised Solar Chromosphere, Mathematics

University of Exeter - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Academic Supervisors:

Dr Hillier, University of Exeter

Project Description:

The solar chromosphere is a highly dynamic layer of the solar atmosphere and is of great importance for understanding the energy flow and dissipation mechanisms in the atmosphere. We understand that magnetic forces are crucial in this layer, but the plasma is only partially ionised making the couple between the plasma and the magnetic field imperfect. In this project the student will explore and develop models of the coupling between the magnetic field and the fluid of the chromosphere to understand how observed dynamic phenomena are created and how the friction between charged species moving with the magnetic field plays a role in the heating of the chromosphere. The project will involve combining numerical modelling, theory, and observations to understand how fundamental magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) phenomena develop in a partially ionised system including regimes (e.g. MHD shocks) beyond those where a single fluid approximation holds.

The successful student will join the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics which is part of the Department of Mathematics. This group has a number of other PhD opportunities, and applications to multiple posts is welcomed.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2018 and is subject to confirmation of funding.

Entry requirements:

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in Applied Mathematics, Physics, Natural Sciences or other appropriate discipline.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

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South West England