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Postdoctoral Research Assistant

University of Oxford - Department of Physics, Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

Location: Oxford
Salary: £33,309 to £40,927 Per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 14th January 2022
Closes: 9th February 2022
Job Ref: 155440

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Plasma Astrophysics and/or Laboratory Astrophysics.

This post is fixed term for 3 years

This project will be concerned with the suppression of heat conductivity in intra-cluster-medium-like (weakly collisional, high-beta) plasmas. It is part of an effort to understand and quantify the material properties of such plasmas, which make up the majority of visible matter in the Universe. The project is at the interface of astrophysical theory/modelling and (laser-plasma) experiment. We intend to conduct a programme of experiments on the National Ignition Facility as a means to create a (scaled) ICM-like laser plasma and study heat conduction in it, cross-validate it by a combination of global MHD and local kinetic (particle-in-cell, PIC) simulations (which will help identify the relevant suppression physics), and to extract a reduced model suitable for global modelling (using both traditional fitting and some more modern methods based on machine-learning algorithms). This is a unique opportunity for an early-career researcher to gain experience in multiple areas of plasma physics research of both theoretical and experimental kind (involving either the experiments themselves or interpretation and understanding of their outcome) and to apply the results to problems of real astrophysical significance.

The successful candidate, depending on their interests and qualifications, will assist in the execution of the experiments, and/or carry out the relevant theory and/or simulations, and/or construct reduced models. There will be considerable scope for initiative in choosing one’s own research direction(s) and pursuing own ideas.

Applicants should possess, or be very close to obtaining a doctorate in physics, astrophysics, applied mathematics, engineering or a related field, and ideally a strong background in plasma physics, laser physics, and/or astrophysics.

The post-holder will have the opportunity to teach.

Please direct enquiries about the role to Prof Alexander Schekochihin or Professor Gianluca Gregori. (alex.schekochihin@merton.ox.ac.uk) (gianluca.gregori@physics.ox.ac.uk )

Only applications received before 23:59 (UK time) on 9 February 2022 can be considered. You will be required to upload a statement of research interests, CV and details of two referees as part of your online application. Candidates should ensure that referees submit all references to aptreferences@physics.ox.ac.uk  by the closing date.

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