The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research invites applications for a postdoctoral research position X-ray polarimetry. The position will involve oversight of a 17m X-ray beamline that is used to test components for use in X-ray polarimetry (PI: H. Marshall). Components to test include high resolution diffraction gratings, as made elsewhere at MIT, and multilayer coated mirrors, which are used to polarize soft X-rays. The candidate would perform tests, reconfiguring and aligning the system as needed, and analyze data with support from undergraduate students. In addition, the candidate would be involved in design of a NASA sounding rocket payload to measure polarization in the 0.2-0.6 keV band from astrophysical objects such as BL Lac objects or magnetars. Pending a successful NASA proposal, the candidate would lead areas of polarimeter design, fabrication, testing, and data analysis as appropriate. Participation in MIT's involvement in the Imaging X-ray Polarimeter Explorer (IXPE) project is also encouraged. IXPE is expected to launch in 2021. The applicant would be involved in modeling sources, preparing simulations of possible IXPE observations, and developing applicable data analysis methods.
A Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics or related field is required. Experience in a laboratory environment involving vacuum systems, computer controlled manipulators, and data analysis is required. Experience with CAD, machining, X-ray CCD detectors, X-ray optics, optical design, and electronics is highly desirable. The candidate will have up to 25% time available for independent research, preferably in X-ray astronomy, and will be encouraged to present results at relevant domestic and foreign conferences.
Interested candidates should submit a CV, publications list and statement of research interests to the below address. Applicants should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address.
Initial appointment is for two years, with the possibility of extension depending on performance and funding.
MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.