Simulating Population III star formation

Lead Research Organisation: CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


Supersonic turbulent motions are thought to play a major role in star formation process. Theories have suggested that 'turbulence' is responsible for shaping the interstellar medium (ISM), regulating star formation, and even setting the masses of stars as they form in young clusters. However, the properties of the turbulent motions in the ISM are difficult to determine: we can only use the doppler shifting of molecular emission lines to probe their velocities - giving us 1D, not 3D information - and these lines are often optically thick, such that their shapes are difficult to interpret.

Numerical simulations of the turbulent ISM can help here. By using simulations that track the formation and destruction of CO and other species, we can then make synthetic observations of the simulations and use these to study the properties of the turbulence. Since we know the 'true' underlying properties of the turbulence in our 3D simulations, we can then test how the standard techniques used on observational data perform on synthetic observations. We can also make use of a machine learning approach to develop new techniques for studying the properties of ISM turbulence in our simulations and observational datasets.

The work in this PhD will introduce you to a wide range of ISM physics - such as ISM chemistry, molecular line radiative transfer, and fluid dynamics - and also advanced statistics and machine learning techniques.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/S505328/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2022
2268675 Studentship ST/S505328/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2023 Lewis Prole
ST/T50600X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023
2268675 Studentship ST/T50600X/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2023 Lewis Prole