Project description

Subject: Theoretical physics

We are searching for an outstanding PhD candidate with a high intrinsic motivation to study the origin and evolution of cosmic structure using galaxy surveys and cutting-edge data science methods. The applicant should have experience or an interest in cosmology, programming and machine learning, and other relevant skills. The position requires fluency in spoken and written English to participate in international research collaborations and publish scientific articles.

The origin of cosmic structures and the cause of the Universe's accelerating expansion are significant open problems of modern cosmology, indicating the need for new physics to describe nature. According to the Standard Model of Cosmology, all observable structures in the Universe originated from tiny primordial quantum fluctuations, which grew gravitationally to form the presently observed distribution of galaxies. Understanding the origin and formation of these cosmic structures will provide new insights into the true nature of dark matter, dark energy, gravity, and the yet-unknown high energy processes governing the beginning of the Universe.

The successful candidate will work with Dr Jens Jasche to develop and apply novel statistical and deep learning methods to reconstruct the 3D initial conditions of observed cosmic structures in galaxy surveys and trace their gravitational formation history across time. The offered project will use the latest cosmological simulations and data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the next-generation Rubin observatory to understand the connection between the initial conditions and the non-linear gravitational processes forming the distribution of observed galaxies. Cosmic structure reconstructions will then be used to test physics models of dark matter, dynamic dark energy, and the theory of cosmic inflation.

The project is supported by the Swedish Research Council and the Simons Foundation. It will be part of the newly funded Simons Collaboration on “Learning the Universe” (www.learning-the-universe.org), which provides the successful candidate with ample opportunities to interact with our collaborators at participating institutions (Columbia University, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Harvard University, Flatiron Institute, Institut Astrophysique de Paris, Université de Montreal, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, MPA Garching). The successful candidate will further be a member of our Aquila consortium (www.aquila-consortium.org), an international research collaboration developing novel data science techniques to study fundamental physics with cosmic structures.

 

Ref. No. SU FV-3407-21

Closing date: 5 November 2021

Complete information here.