The Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the University of Leicester invites applications for a post-doctoral Research Associate position in Theoretical Astrophysics. This position is funded for a period of three years by the Science and Technology Facility Council (STFC, a UK government Research Council) grant awarded to Prof. Walter Dehnen.
The project is concerned with the dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy, especially its stellar disc in the wider Solar neighbourhood. You will analyse the Gaia data with particular emphasis on non-equilibrium features, such as breathing (e.g. spirals) and bending (e.g. warp) waves. The goal of the project is to understand qualitatively and quantitatively the non-equilibrium properties of the Milky Way and thereby ultimately overcome the fundamental limitations of dynamical equilibrium models. To this end, we plan to pursue both theoretical tools (perturbation theory) and detailed high-resolution N-body simulations. We are also interested in exploring the application of machine learning methodologies to this problem.
You will carry out independent and collaborative research for this project, and will also have opportunities to collaborate more widely within the Theoretical Astrophysics Group (whose existing research programme includes planet formation, AGN physics, accretion discs, galactic dynamics, and dark matter). As the project will be conducted in collaboration with Ralph Schönrich (Oxford), Sven de Rijcke (Ghent), and Joachim Stadel (Zurich) and as the PI (Dehnen) is also affiliated with Munich university, there will be opportunity for travel and international collaborations.
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