Nature of project: theory, software
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
Astrophysical jets are ubiquitous phenomena in the universe. These collimated supersonic outflows emerge from various objects such as the nuclei of active galaxies, neutron stars, and stellar mass black holes. Associated with the jet phenomena are the powerful gamma ray bursts discovered a few decades ago at cosmological distances. Astrophysical jets may sometimes exceed millions of parsecs in length. The project will review the origin and the structure of the jets, the different possible mechanisms for their generation proposed over the past few decades.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
The destabilisation of the jets by the mechanism of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability will be investigated numerically. An open source code to carry out the numerical simulations and to visualise the results will be provided. The effects of the magnetic field will be dicsussed.
When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.
Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: The mechanism of jet destabilisation will be investigated analytically using the assumption of incompressibility. The role of the magnetic field will be determined from the derived formulae.
Please speak to Youra Taroyan (yot) if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
Assistance will be provided with setting up and running the simulations.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|The main properties of astrophysical jets||end of October|
|Different mechanisms for their acceleration||Christmas|
|Numerical investigation of jet destabilisation||end of February|
|Overview of the results||Easter|