Master Thesis Projects

The Solar ALMA project offers a wide range of different possibilities for Master thesis projects. The focus can be on the analysis of observations, work on numerical simulations, development of analysis and image processing techniques or a combination of those. The main topic is our Sun but thesis topics related to other stars / stellar types are possible, too. 

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a new powerful tool for observing the Sun at high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution. These capabilities can address a broad range of fundamental scientific questions in solar physics. The radiation observed by ALMA originates mostly from the chromosphere—a complex and dynamic region between the photosphere and corona, which plays a crucial role in the transport of energy and matter and, ultimately, the heating of the outer layers of the solar atmosphere.

The Solar ALMA team at RoCS/ITA is working on observations but also numerical simulations, including development, processing, analysis, and visualisation. There are therefore many possibilities to find a thesis topic that matches well with a candidates interests and skills. 

Possible examples (among many others): 

  • Focus on observations: Work on readily processed ALMA observations for 1-2 selected data sets with a clear scientific question. For instance, dynamics and temperature evolution of small-scale features and their possible implications for the atmospheric energy balance.
  • Focus on simulations: Work on existing numerical simulations, possibly production of artificial ALMA observations (with existing programs) and analysis regarding a clear scientific question. For instance: What is the predicted observational signature of propagating shock waves in the solar chromosphere and what can be learned from corresponding (real) ALMA observations? 
  • Focus on instrumental effects: Simulation of instrumental effects that are applied to artificial observations (based on existing numerical simulations). Possible question: How do weather conditions (such as atmospheric water vapour) affect the quality of ALMA observations and what are possible solutions for minimizing (or correcting for) the effect? 
  • Focus on post-processing: Work on a selected observational data set and a corresponding artificial observation. Systematic experiments with changed imaging/post-processing parameters and strategies and analysis regarding the question, for instance, how the quality of ALMA observations can be optimized. 
  • Focus on stellar physics: Mostly work on numerical models for different stellar types and production of artificial ALMA observations. Analysis regarding the question: What properties of stellar chromospheres can be derived from (spatially unresolved) observations with ALMA and what are the best observing strategies? 

Please contact Sven Wedemeyer if you want to learn more and/or discuss details about possible thesis projects and/or if you have own ideas for a potential topic that might fit. 

Published Nov. 9, 2018 12:26 PM - Last modified Nov. 9, 2018 1:57 PM