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Cavendish Astrophysics

 

Radio Telescope Technician

Department of Physics Jobs - Tue, 21/06/2022 - 00:00

The Department of Physics is looking to recruit a Radio Telescope Technician to join the team at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Lord's Bridge, Barton, Cambridge, CB3 7EX.

The role holder is based in the Astrophysics Group which is the largest of the research groups, consisting of about 100 people working on projects in three broad kinds of astronomical research: observation, theoretical modelling and instrumentation technology.

The observatory is home to the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI), as well as prototype antennas for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and HERA (Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array).

The role holder will work within a team of four technicians based at the observatory site, carrying out day-to-day maintenance and repairs to the existing radio telescopes as well as construction, installation and testing of new radio telescopes and other astronomical instrumentation. Each team member has their own particular specialism, but also deploys a wide range of engineering and technical skills as required for the work in hand. Further training will be given as appropriate.

Applicants will have a Level 3 NVQ (or equivalent) in a relevant subject and be skilled in the construction and testing of electronic components and sub-systems.

Applicants will be required to work at heights of up to 25m and have a current driving licence.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this vacancy please contact Dr John Young via email: jsy1001@cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference KA31680 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Apprentice in Mechanical Engineering

Department of Physics Jobs - Thu, 16/06/2022 - 00:00

The Department of Physics is recruiting a Mechanical Engineering apprentice to join their training scheme, commencing in September 2022. The successful candidate will undertake a structured training programme in Mechanical Engineering.

The role is workshop based and the use of equipment used in manufacturing including manual and CNC machines, plus design as the primary skill using computer aided design (CAD), for which training will be given.

The scheme offers:

  • Full advanced apprenticeship NVQ Level 3 training in conjunction with West Suffolk College, including vocational and technical certificate courses

  • A very broad range of experience in a variety of workshops and research groups

  • A supportive working environment and mentoring scheme

  • Involvement with world-leading research activity.

Applicants should have five GCSEs or equivalent at grades 4 or C and above, including Mathematics, Science and English, or expect to gain this level of qualification this summer. We are looking for an individual who has a real interest in science and technology and how things work and who is able to demonstrate an aptitude for practical problem solving. Good IT and communication skills would be an asset.

Fixed-term: This is a training contract for 4 years.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this role, please contact the HR Office (hr@phy.cam.ac.uk) or 01223 765743.

Please quote reference KA31407 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Research Laboratory Apprentice x 3

Department of Physics Jobs - Thu, 16/06/2022 - 00:00

The Department of Physics are recruiting 3 Research Laboratory apprentices to join their training scheme, commencing in September 2022. The successful candidate will undertake a structured training programme in becoming a research laboratory technician. The role is laboratory based and will include the use of and maintaining highly technical laboratory instruments.

The course will also include the training and use of workshop machines in manufacturing techniques, electrical engineering and ACAD design, to support laboratory equipment development. Further skills and training will be offered in scientific techniques and data gathering.

The scheme offers:

  • Full advanced apprenticeship NVQ Level 3 training in conjunction with CSR Scientific training Group, including vocational and technical certificate courses.

  • A very broad range of experience in a variety of laboratories, workshops and research groups

  • A supportive working environment and mentoring scheme

  • Involvement with world-leading research activity.

Applicants should have five GCSEs or equivalent at grades 4 or C and above, including Mathematics, Science and English, or expect to gain this level of qualification this summer. We are looking for an individual who has a real interest in science and technology and how things work and who is able to demonstrate an aptitude for practical problem solving. Good IT and communication skills would be an asset.

Fixed-term: This is a training contract for 3 years.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about the role, please contact the HR Office (hr@phy.cam.ac.uk) or 01223 765743.

Please quote reference KA31562 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Mon 20 Jun 13:00: Small-Scale Structure in Vector Dark Matter Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/91709058845.

Upcoming talks - Wed, 15/06/2022 - 09:46
Small-Scale Structure in Vector Dark Matter

Can we figure out the spin of dark matter from astrophysical observations? I will talk about new phenomenology of light vector dark matter including (i) a new class of polarized vector solitons (ii) interference patterns in density (iii) intrinsic spin. These effects lead to signals in astrophysics and direct detection that can potentially distinguish vector dark matter from their scalar counterpart (via substructure in halos, gravitational waves and electromagnetic signatures). Time permitting, I will discuss preliminary results for different formation mechanisms for vector dark matter and solitons, and also generalize to include non-gravitational interactions.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/91709058845.

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Fri 17 Jun 13:00: Black tsunamis and naked singularities

Upcoming talks - Mon, 13/06/2022 - 09:46
Black tsunamis and naked singularities

We study the evolution of the Gregory-Laflamme instability for black strings in global AdS spacetime, and investigate the CFT dual of the formation of a bulk naked singularity. Using an effective theory in the large D limit, we uncover a rich variety of dynamical behaviour, depending on the thickness of the string and on initial perturbations. These include: large inflows of horizon generators from the asymptotic boundary (a `black tsunami’); a pinch-off of the horizon that likely reveals a naked singularity; and competition between these two behaviours, such as a nakedly singular pinch-off that subsequently gets covered by a black tsunami. The holographic dual describes different patterns of heat flow due to the Hawking radiation of two black holes placed at the antipodes of a spherical universe. We also present a model that describes, in any D, the burst in the holographic stress-energy tensor when the signal from a bulk self-similar naked singularity reaches the boundary. The model shows that the shear components of the boundary stress diverge in finite time, while the energy density and pressures from the burst vanish.

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Fri 22 Jul 11:30: Title to be confirmed

Upcoming talks - Fri, 10/06/2022 - 14:46
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Fri 22 Jul 11:30: Title to be confirmed

Upcoming talks - Fri, 10/06/2022 - 14:46
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Fri 22 Jul 11:30: Title to be confirmed

Upcoming talks - Fri, 10/06/2022 - 14:46
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Fri 10 Jun 13:15: Evidence of planet engulfment in post-main sequence stars

Upcoming talks - Fri, 10/06/2022 - 12:17
Evidence of planet engulfment in post-main sequence stars

The post-main sequence stellar evolution can have catastrophic consequences for orbiting planets. With the expansion of the star’s envelope during the red giant branch, some exoplanets are likely engulfed, producing changes in the surface chemical composition of the star. There are no clear chemical signatures that are unequivocally associated with this event, but enhancement of light elements that should be depleted on the surface of red giants can be considered indicators of engulfment. In this talk, I will discuss lithium as a signature of accretion of substellar companions in red giant branch stars. Although identifying individual engulfment events during the red giant evolutionary phase can be complicated, the death of a low-mass star provides new opportunities to study engulfment. Metals in the atmosphere of white dwarfs are signs of accretion of smaller planetary bodies. Thus, I will also show how these polluted white dwarfs offer a novel means to study the composition of rocky exoplanets and understand if they retain the same composition as the material from which they formed.

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Tue 14 Jun 13:00: Understanding the stars in our search for another Earth

None - Thu, 09/06/2022 - 15:38
Understanding the stars in our search for another Earth

To understand exoplanetary systems, we can study their mass-radius relationship or lack thereof. The HARPS -N Collaboration has been leading the efforts to fill and interpret the mass-radius diagram of small planets by combining space photometry, Gaia astrometry and radial velocities. Determining a precise as-well-as accurate planet mass can only be determined with well-sampled, stable, and precise observations combined with advanced computational efforts and new extraction and processing techniques. The biggest challenge remains the stellar activity processes, mimicking and hiding planetary signals. With the HARPS -N Collaboration, we have been studying the Sun-as-a-star for 6 years, providing a dataset where we truly have no planetary signals and can study stellar behaviour in more detail. In this talk, I will give an overview on the leading efforts of our collaboration to fill the mass-radius diagram, an insight in new LSD -based processing techniques, and the behaviour over time of the standard activity indicators using Solar data.

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Tue 14 Jun 13:00: Understanding the stars in our search for another Earth

Upcoming talks - Thu, 09/06/2022 - 15:38
Understanding the stars in our search for another Earth

To understand exoplanetary systems, we can study their mass-radius relationship or lack thereof. The HARPS -N Collaboration has been leading the efforts to fill and interpret the mass-radius diagram of small planets by combining space photometry, Gaia astrometry and radial velocities. Determining a precise as-well-as accurate planet mass can only be determined with well-sampled, stable, and precise observations combined with advanced computational efforts and new extraction and processing techniques. The biggest challenge remains the stellar activity processes, mimicking and hiding planetary signals. With the HARPS -N Collaboration, we have been studying the Sun-as-a-star for 6 years, providing a dataset where we truly have no planetary signals and can study stellar behaviour in more detail. In this talk, I will give an overview on the leading efforts of our collaboration to fill the mass-radius diagram, an insight in new LSD -based processing techniques, and the behaviour over time of the standard activity indicators using Solar data.

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Mon 13 Jun 13:00: Effects and uses of CMB lensing Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/99304579109

Upcoming talks - Thu, 09/06/2022 - 12:48
Effects and uses of CMB lensing

Large-scale structure gravitationally lenses the cosmic microwave background, producing magnification, shear and rotation effects. I describe some useful and surprising effects of this, including new optimized measurements from Planck PR4 maps, lensing biases induced via masking, and how the small rotation effect may be observable using forthcoming CMB observations.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/99304579109

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Thu 16 Jun 16:00: Stopping the Stars from Twinkling: monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications

Upcoming talks - Wed, 08/06/2022 - 14:50
Stopping the Stars from Twinkling: monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications

Turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere can limit the precision of ground-based optical telescopes, both in terms of the angular resolution and the time-resolved photometry. I will present the progress in monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications. We have successfully developed a new turbulence monitor capable of operating continuously 24-hours a day, enabling support for both solar and night-time activities but also feeding into turbulence forecasting tools. The combination of these facilities allows us to model the propagation of light through the Earth’s atmosphere anywhere in the world. This is useful to select new sites, develop new instruments and optimise scheduling for existing observatories. I will also highlight the synergies between astronomical instrumentation and other exciting applications such as free-space optical communications and satellite tracking; areas where technical research staff can transfer their skills to make a significant impact in these emerging fields.

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Research Assistant - Plasmonic DNA Nanostructures (Fixed Term)

Department of Physics Jobs - Wed, 08/06/2022 - 00:00

We are looking for a Research Assistant to work on the project Pico-Photonic Forces at the Atomic Scale (PICOFORCE), an ERC project led by Professor Jeremy J Baumberg at the University of Cambridge. The successful candidate will be based in the NanoPhotonics Group in the Department of Physics. The project will focus on developing self-assembly of nanostructures combining plasmonic components and DNA nanotechnologies to sense and actuate optical induced forces. The position will start in October 2022.

Candidates will have completed a Masters-level degree in a relevant field such as Nanobiology. Candidates must provide the names and contact details of two referees who are familiar with their work/studies in the relevant field. Candidates will need to meet all prerequisites for admission to the PhD programme in the Department of Physics (please refer to: https://www.phy.cam.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate/degreesoffered/phdinphysics). If the candidate registers as a full-time PhD student at the University and studies for the degree, the candidate may apply to pay staff rate tuition fees for the PhD.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Enquiries concerning this position should be directed to Professor Jeremy J Baumberg (jjb12@cam.ac.uk), and applicants are encouraged to contact him regarding the position.

Please see the attached further information file for the relevant post for more role specific details

Please quote reference KA31685 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Wed 08 Jun 13:45: Robustness of Molecular Detections Using High-Resolution Transmission Spectroscopy

Upcoming talks - Mon, 06/06/2022 - 14:35
Robustness of Molecular Detections Using High-Resolution Transmission Spectroscopy

In recent years, high-resolution transmission spectroscopy has emerged as one of the most successful techniques for detecting chemicals in transiting exoplanetary atmospheres. Despite many molecular detections to date, concerns have been raised about robustness when removing telluric and stellar features from the observed spectra, a step known as detrending. A robust detrending method has yet to be agreed upon, leaving previous detections inconsistent and sometimes irreproducible. We examine how overfitting detrending parameters can falsely amplify detection significances, and propose a robust methodology to select these parameters without introducing bias. To do this, we use CARMENES observations of the hot Jupiter HD189733b as a case study to investigate the robustness of different detrending optimisations. We find that selecting detrending parameters by optimising the difference between a signal-injected cross-correlation function and the observed cross-correlation function is robust against noise and spurious signals. On the other hand, optimising without this subtraction, as is often done, can induce spurious peaks and inflate detection significances. We reproduce previous detections with decreased significances reflecting more robust detrending. Our findings provide a robust framework for future homogeneous molecular surveys of exoplanetary atmospheres using high-resolution transmission spectroscopy.

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Mon 06 Jun 13:00: Surprising Dark Implications of a Supersymmetric Gravity Sector Zoom link: https://stonybrook.zoom.us/j/2816482971?pwd=TWpaN1hpd2laZzNxcGVJSkVGUVFDUT09.

Upcoming talks - Mon, 06/06/2022 - 11:32
Surprising Dark Implications of a Supersymmetric Gravity Sector

This talk explores surprises that emerge as consequences of accidental approximate scale invariances combined with a relatively supersymmetric gravity sector, both of which are argued to be robust consequences of UV physics (like string theory). Taken together these can be more than the sum of their parts, and suggest the low-energy world around us should consist of non-supersymmetric particle physics coupled to a rich dark sector built from supersymmetric gravity. A core prediction is that all particle masses arise proportional to the vev, v, of a dilaton field with the pattern where Standard Model masses, M, neutrino masses, m, and the Planck mass satisfy Mp/M \sim M/m \sim v, suggesting v is order 1e15. The framework also predicts the scalar potential for v, and this has both AdS and dS solutions without any need for problematic uplifting. The potential arises as a function of log v and so can give exponentially large values for v using only input parameters of order 70. Tantalizingly, at its minimum the potential evaluates to the fourth power of an energy E = (weak scale squared)/(Planck mass) that scales with v in the same way as a famous phenomenologically successful numerology. The prefactor is somewhat model-dependent, but in the known examples predicts the potential at its minimum to be suppressed by two powers of v (and five powers of log v), relative to the supersymmetry breaking scale in particle physics. For supersymmetry broken at 100 TeV this predicts a dark energy density of 1e(-91) in Planck units: not yet nailing the Dark Energy density—1e(-120)—but at least taping it down better than usual. Preliminary phenomenological implications are drawn assuming this framework eventually succeeds in further pushing down the minimum of V, and include intriguing cosmologies that (for free) seem to dynamically implement a recent proposal for resolving the Hubble tension (by modifying the electron mass around recombination).

Zoom link: https://stonybrook.zoom.us/j/2816482971?pwd=TWpaN1hpd2laZzNxcGVJSkVGUVFDUT09.

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