Artificial Intelligence-assisted Galactic Archaeology

Dr Daisuke Kawata, Dr Thomas Kitching, Dr Jason McEwen

The number of literature in astrophysics are increasing rapidly. It is already now difficult for an individual researcher to thoroughly review all the articles written even in their related topic. There may be a danger that scientists are missing new out of the box concept. The aim of this project is to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool to automatically consolidate the vast amount of online peer-reviewed literatures in the galaxy formation and evolution, and construct the concordance formation scenario of the Milky Way. We will further train an AI to identify which kind of the observational information is lacking to further constrain the formation scenario, and design future observational surveys and/or space missions.
 We seek a student who has strong experiences in statistics, machine learning,  computer programming and astrophysics, and who is enthusiastic to tackle the novel challenging project.

Numerical Simulations of Disc Galaxies

Dr Daisuke Kawata

ESA's Gaia mission (launched in Dec. 2013) will uncover revolutionary detailed views of the Milky Way. In addition, the large scale survey, like Euclid, will provide us the snapshots of the formation history of the disc galaxies, like the Milky Way. Computer simulation of galaxy formation is a powerful tool to connect these snapshots information, and help us to understand the physical process of galaxy formation and evolution. The objective of this project is to improve and optimise the MSSL's original particle-based galactic chemodynamics code, GCD+, on the state-of-the art supercomputers in the UK and Europe, and run unprecedentedly high-resolution numerical simulations of the disc galaxy formation to compare with the future observations and study the galaxy formation. We seek a student who like computer programming and enthusiastic to tackle the challenging project.

A Milky Way sized disk simulation

Face-on view of star (left) and gas (right) particle distribution in a simulated Milky Way sized disk. (courtesy of Robert Grand)

High-resolution Numerical Simulations of the Galactic Centre

Dr. Daisuke Kawata and Prof. Kinwah Wu

 The project aims to develop the detailed numerical simulation model
of the central (within about 300 pc) part of the Milky Way around
the massive black hole, using MSSL's original particle-based
magneto-hydrodynamics code, GCMHD+. Using the unique numerical simulation
model, the student will study the star formation in the extreme environment
at the Galactic centre, and the effects of star formation and stellar feedback
on feeding the gas into the black hole. The simulations will be a unique
and valuable tool to understand the recent and future multi-wavelength
observations of the Galactic centre. This is a challenging project, and we seek a student who has a strong background in astrophysics and experience in scientific programming.


The Galactic Centre in far-infrared and sub-mm view. (Credit: Kruijssen et al. arXiv:1303.6286).