3 year PhD position on evolved stars in the framework of ANR PEPPER

Project description: Evolved cool stars are major cosmic engines, providing strong mechanical, chemical, and radiative feedback to their host environments. Through strong stellar winds, still poorly understood, they enrich their environment with chemical elements, which are the building blocks of planets and life. A complete understanding of their evolution in the near and distant Universe can only be achieved with detailed knowledge of wind physics over the life cycle of these stars as well as in relation to their circumstellar environment. A complete picture of all the physical processes that simultaneously trigger and shape the strong winds of evolved cold stars is still missing. This thesis is part of Project PEPPER (https://lagrange.oca.eu/fr/welcome-to-anr-pepper), funded by the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche, aiming to build a coherent and comprehensive description of the mass-loss mechanism, in close collaboration with the ATOMIUM project (https://fys.kuleuven.be/ster/research-projects/aerosol/atomium/atomium). The main questions we endeavour to tackle in this project are: How are the winds launched and which physical processes determine their properties? How do the mass-loss rate and other wind properties depend on fundamental stellar parameters? What is the origin of the detected magnetic field on the stellar surface? What chemical processes dominate in the winds? Where does the interaction between dynamics and chemical phenomena lie? The core of our approach is the synergy between theory and observation in order to obtain a global, coherent vision of the evolved cool stars, from the bottom of the atmosphere up to the circumstellar environment. We will use high-angular resolution observations with SPHERE and MATISSE and observations made quasi-simultaneously with ALMA (all already in hand). For the interpretation, the student will actively participate in the modeling using various codes. 

The Ph.D. student will work together with Fabrice Herpin and other PEPPER team members, in close collaboration with the ATOMIUM team. More information on the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux can be found at https://astrophy.u-bordeaux.fr 

The position is a 3-year appointment and requires a University degree in Astronomy or Physics at an advanced level (e.g., a M.Sc. degree), completed by the time of employment. The earliest starting date is 1 October 2021. Applications should include a brief description of research interests and relevant experience, CV, copies of Master’s University grades, certificates and diplomas, B.Sc./M.Sc. thesis/internship (or draft thereof), and contact details for the Master director and internship supervisors. Practical experience with python, numerical simulations of gas dynamics, or with observational data on AGB and RSG stars, will be considered a merit. 

The complete announcement is posted at https://lagrange.oca.eu/fr/welcome-to-anr-pepper and the application deadline is 1 June 2021. Applications should be sent to Fabrice Herpin (fabrice.herpin@u-bordeaux.fr). 

For further information, please contact Fabrice Herpin (fabrice.herpin@u-bordeaux.fr).