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Summer Studentship: High-Energy Astrophysics

DIAS Astrophysics (dias.ie/astrophysics) is delighted to offer a Summer Studentship at DIAS Dunsink Observatory for 2 months in June and July 2024.

DIAS Astrophysics undertakes research in solar physics, space weather, planetary magnetospheres, star formation and jets, massive stars and high energy astrophysics. DIAS Dunsink Observatory is operated by the section and is a designated European site of historical significance for physics.

The internship involves working with Dr Jonathan Mackey and the DIAS H.E.S.S. team on data analysis of very high-energy observations of supernova remnants, taken with the H.E.S.S. (High-Energy Stereoscopic System) telescopes in Namibia over the past few years.  The H.E.S.S. array consists of 5 imaging atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs), one 28-metre and four 12-metre telescopes, located in the Khomas Highlands of Namibia.  They detect flashes of Cherenkov radiation from the upper atmosphere, generated by showers of sub-atomic particles produced when gamma-rays strike the top of the atmosphere.  Using these flashes we can reconstruct the energy and source direction of the gamma ray, and thereby build up a map of the sky at TeV energies.

The ideal candidate should:

  • have a solid physics/mathematics/astrophysics background, in line for an honours degree and with an interest in a research career;
  • be proficient in python programming and computing in a linux environment;
  • have a strong mathematics background including competence in statistics;
  • be eager to learn and work as part of a team, self-motivated, and enthusiastic about science.

The successful applicant will learn:

  • the basics of gamma-ray astronomy, especially at GeV energies (data from Fermi-LAT telescope) and TeV energies specifically related to the H.E.S.S. data;
  • the characteristics of IACTs and analysing data from them, especially separating signal from background noise;
  • the physics of supernova remnants and an introduction to particle acceleration and high-energy radiation processes;
  • data analysis using the gamma-py package; and
  • lots of statistical methods for estimating significance of a signal against a null hypothesis!

The stipend is for a total scholarship of €3,000 and covers a two-month internship starting on 1st June 2024 (or shortly thereafter).

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 13th May 2024. Candidates will be notified by email the following week if they are through to the interview round.

The application should consist of:

  1. a CV (max 2 pages),
  2. a cover letter detailing why you are a suitable candidate for this internship and why you wish to pursue a career in research (max 1 page),
  3. a letter of support from the Degree Course Director stating that the candidate is in line for an honours degree.

The application and letter should be uploaded as a combined PDF file (please do not use other formats) before 5pm on Monday 13th May 2024 to the DIAS online e-recruitment system here. We look forward to receiving your application. For questions about the internship please contact jmackey@cp.dias.ie

Useful links for more information:

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