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Research Assistant/Associate in BEC Dark Matter Modelling

Requisition ID:  8861

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  04-Jun-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £28,331 - £32,817 per annum 


Closing Date: Monday 05 July 2021



The Role


We are looking for an exceptional, highly motivated researcher to join the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics and work on an interdisciplinary project on novel Dark Matter models, spanning the group’s expertise in Cosmology and Cold Atom Physics.  

The research aims to extend the scope of Dark Matter theory, focusing on models that involve self-interacting, ultra-light scalar particles. You will assist in developing the theory for decribing states where the underlying dark matter scalar quantum field exists as a hybrid with two components: a condensate and a gas-like, non-condensed component.

In particular, you will be involved in deriving coupled kinetic-condensate equations and/or stochastic Gross-Pitaevsky-Poisson equations for such systems and putting these equations to use in numerical simulations for studying the impact of such hybrid states on the formation of gravitationally bound cosmological structures and the possible creation of quantum vorticity. 

The position is available on a full time, fixed term basis for 36 months. 

For informal queries please contact Dr G. Rigopoulos  at gerasimos.rigopoulos@ncl.ac.uk  and Professor Nick Proukakis at nikolaos.proukakis@ncl.ac.uk.

For further information about the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics please click here. 


Key Accountabilities


•    Develop and study cosmological scalar-field dark matter models that employ more than pure condensate states by coupling the Bose Einstein Condensate component to non-condensed, particle-like degrees of freedom of the same underlying quantum field.  
•    Adapt and extend formalisms of out-of-equilibrium condensate and kinetic dynamics, typically used in modelling ultracold-atomic/condensed-matter systems such as the stochastic Gross-Pitaevskii equation and a related kinetic model of coupled Gross-Pitaevskii and Quantum Boltzmann equations, by including gravitational interactions in a cosmological context. This work is to be done in close collaboration with Dr G Rigopoulos and Professor Nick Proukakis.
•    Apply the resulting systems of equations to analytic studies where possible and collaborate in extending existing in-house, high-level parallel numerical codes for such systems of equations.  
•    Analyse and interpret the obtained results and numerical data in collaboration with Dr Rigopoulos and Professor Proukakis, ideally aiming to elucidate potential connections to observational signatures.
•    Publish high-quality research papers in refereed journals of international standing.
•    Present scientific results, both internally and externally in conferences and other meetings. 
•    Participate in the activities of the Applied Mathematics and Physics groups at Newcastle University. 
•    If desired, to have a minor involvement in the teaching activities of the School subject to mutual agreement.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Solid theoretical/numerical background in cosmological structure formation is desirable, although exceptional physicists with a cold-atom/condensed-matter background and relevant analytical/numerical capabilities who are willing to expand their expertise will also be considered. 
•    Appropriate theoretical background in out-of-equilibrium physics, kinetic theory and stochastic dynamics and/or quantum or statistical field theory.
•    High level computational and/or numerical skills, preferably with experience in N-body and/or stochastic simulations.
•    Proven capability for high quality research evidenced though international peer-reviewed publications, preferably in the area of cosmology. 
•    Excellent communications skills, including ability to present research results to a scientific audience.
•    Previous postdoctoral experience on relevant research topics is desirable but not essential.


Attributes and Behaviour


•    Ability to tackle novel research challenges in an enthusiastic, creative and productive manner.
•    In a position to bring individual skills and insights to the research.
•    Openness to undertake a numerically-based research project. 
•    Flexibility and research adaptability, including integration in a new research environment and a willingness to interface across different research groups in cosmology and cold atom physics.
•    Commitment to extend knowledge base to relevant aspects of the research project.  
•    Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others. 
•    Ability and enthusiasm to work as part of a group and interact with external/international collaborators.
•    Commitment to align with our institutional Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) principles, including ensuring dignity and respect in the workplace to the highest standard to all colleagues and students. 



•    A PhD (or close to obtaining one) in Physics or Applied Maths, with emphasis on theoretical and/or computational physics and/or cosmology. 


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 8861