Curtin University is seeking a PhD student to explore the ability of current and next-generation low frequency radio telescopes to detect and estimate signals from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR). You will join a vibrant group working on EoR signal detection with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), and looking towards the design of SKA-Low for EoR studies. This project would suit a student with a strong mathematical background. Experience/interest in statistics and signal estimation theory would be advantageous.
The EoR is a period in the early Universe during which the first sources of radiation ionised the intergalactic medium. This phase change marks a key period in the formation of structure in the Universe, and the details of this process provide information about cosmology, structure formation, local physics, and enrichment of the intergalactic medium. Measuring the distribution and strength of the neutral hydrogen emission line at high redshift is the best direct tracer of the reionisation epoch, and experiments are underway with low-frequency radio telescopes to detect the signal, and produce the first statistical estimate of its spatial and temporal structure.
This project will work to understand the limitations of current and future telescopes and datasets to measure the statistical signal of reionisation. Following foundation work in this area, the student will explore the effects of diffuse foreground emission, telescope bandpass structure, and polarised emission on statistical estimation of the reionisation signal, with particular reference to studies with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
Curtin University is located in Perth, Australia. The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy is part of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), and includes a large group of postdoctoral fellows and students working on low frequency radio surveys, pulsars and fast radio bursts (FRBs), and VLBI. CIRA is involved with the MWA Telescope and development of the low-frequency component of the SKA.
Deadline for applications is January 31, 2014.
To apply, please:
- Provide a short statement describing your academic achievements, previous research projects and other relevant experience.
- Provide an academic transcript
- Provide contact details for two academic referees whom should provide a short email in support of the application