Gravitational Physics (PhD/MPhil)
PhD 3-4 years, MPhil 1-2 years (Full-time) / opportunities available (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
The Gravitational Physics Group is one of the largest research groups in the School. We focus on the detection and study of gravitational waves from astrophysical systems such as black-hole and neutron-star binaries, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts. Group members are also leaders in the field of numerical relativity, simulating collisions of black holes using large computer clusters. The Group co-founded the British-German GEO 600 gravitational-wave detection project and is a leading member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. We are active members of collaborations studying the scientific benefits of the proposed space-based LISA system and the future Einstein Telescope (ET). As a part of this research we develop novel algorithms and software that have become standard search tools. Cardiff also acts as a data centre for GEO 600 and LIGO, with the data analyzed in-house using large computer clusters. Other theoretical research focuses on quantum processes in the early Universe, cosmic microwave and gravitational wave backgrounds, the formation, evolution and nature of largescale structure in the Universe, and alternative formulations of general relativity. We have developed an on-line game called "Black Hole Hunter" (www.blackholehunter.org) to illustrate how we look for gravitational wave signals from merging black hole binaries. The challenge is to listen to a set of audio tracks and identify the one containing the signal from a black hole merger.
Active research projects include:
- Numerical modelling of black hole binaries
- Searches for gravitational waves from black hole and neutron star mergers
- Multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves, gamma ray bursts, supernovae
- Astrophysical implications of gravitational wave observations
- Observational tests of general relativity
- Cosmography with gravitational wave observations of compact binary mergers
- Developing the science case for next generation of ground-based, underground and space-based gravitational wave detectors
- Understanding quasi-normal mode oscillations of black holes
- Research students take specialist academic courses and courses to develop their communication and personal skills.
- There is a full programme of seminars and the individual research groups hold regular meetings where members present new results and discuss their research in detail.
- There is an annual postgraduate conference and a research student poster competition. <
- There are active collaborations with research groups overseas and regular attendance at major international conferences by staff and students
Suitable for graduates with a first or upper-second class honours degree in Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematics, Electronics or a related subject, depending on the research area.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS).
Supporting materials required:
- Research Proposal
- Two academic references and copies of full transcripts
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
UK & EU Part Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
International Part Time for 2013/14
Next intake: The University has four entry points for research degrees; 1st October, 1st January, 1st April or 1st July
Name: Dr Dan Read
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5112