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This PhD project is part of the A Large Ion Collider Experiment (ALICE) programme in which high-energy collisions of heavy lead ions are used to create and study the high-temperature state of the strong interaction: the quark-gluon plasma (QGP). ALICE is one of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. As a PhD candidate you are involved in research projects using so-called hard probes, in which quarks and gluons with high momentum are produced during collisions and are used to probe the QGP. During the projects the analysis of the experimental data is combined with model studies to interpret and understand the results. As a PhD candidate you should have a strong interest in fundamental (particle) physics and affinity with large scale data analysis, including statistical techniques and the programming of analysis algorithms. Prior experience in some of these areas is considered an advantage.
You will become a member of the ALICE group at the Institute for Gravitation and Subatomic Physics (GRASP) at Utrecht University and will collaborate closely with the ALICE group at Nikhef.
For this PhD position we are looking for a team player who likes an international environment and brings the following qualifications:
You will become a member of the Graduate School for Natural Sciences (GSNS), which offers courses on academic integrity, academic writing, presenting research results, and teaching. In addition, you receive advanced training through the Research School Subatomic Physics (OSAF), which coordinates activities for PhD candidates in (astro)particle physics in a uniform way, at national level. This training includes three times a year a 3-day lecture series at Nikhef and summer schools. Through OSAF you will be connected to an independent mentor who will also be present at the yearly evaluation meetings. Additionally you will get:
The Institute for Gravitational and Subatomic Physics (GRASP) has a long-standing, high-impact programme in the experimental study of the quark-gluon plasma, and an excellent programme, focusing on the study of gravitational waves. The research is performed in close collaboration with Nikhef (the Dutch institute for particle physics). The two research areas clearly overlap in the study of nuclear matter in extreme conditions, with a link to the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University. The quark-gluon plasma studied by the ALICE experiment involves high temperatures while the nuclear matter in neutron stars exist at low temperature but high density. Within the institute we aim to expand the methodology to include information from both lines of research to gain understanding of the quantum chromo dynamics (QCD) phase diagram.
The group consists of six staff, two-three postdocs, and currently seven PhD candidates. During your PhD you will closely work together with the group members focusing on jet physics and take part in weekly group meetings. In addition, you are expected to give regular updates of your work at ALICE physics meetings at CERN.
At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us.
Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.
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