Phd Position starting no later
than October, 1st 2011 at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in
-Subject : Understanding the Galactic dust polarized emission with the
Planck satellite
-PhD Supervisors : Vincent Guillet & François Boulanger.

-Date limite d’envoi des candidatures :
April 4, 2011
Astrophysics Graduate Program of Paris
Ecole doctorale d’Astrophysique d’Ile-de-France
University Paris-Sud
Université Paris-Sud
URL3 : MISTIC Project

Job Announcement Text:

The Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale is building a multidisciplinary
research group which gathers the complementary expertise – in
interstellar medium and dust physics, CMB data analysis, and the
mathematics of component separation – needed to anchor the analysis of
microwave polarization data to state-of-the-art physical modeling of
the dusty magnetized interstellar medium. Our project aims at
achieving the breakthroughs in the fields of Galactic astrophysics,
microwave sky modeling, and component separation, required to reach
the best sensitivity on the search for B-mode CMB polarization.
We wish to appoint a PhD student to work with us on the dust modeling
part of this project. The successful applicant will have access to the
Planck data and will contribute to the analysis and modeling of the
dust polarized emission. The full description of the thesis project is
available at URL3 (or see below).
Students should have a Master in Astrophysics by October 1st, 2011.
The scholarship is for 3 years, with a net income of 1600 euros/month,
starting no later than October 2011. Applicants should send to Vincent
Guillet by email a curriculum vita, a brief description (no more than
3 pages) of their master courses and research project, and a letter of
recommandation. The deadline for the application is April 4th, 2011.
For further information, please contact Vincent Guillet. Our Institute
is located within the Orsay campus of Universite Paris-Sud. The
student will be registered at our University within the Astrophysics
Graduate Program of Paris (URL1).
Included Benefits:
Full access to the French health care system.

Full Thesis Proposal / Proposition complète de thèse

Understanding the Galactic dust polarized emission with the Planck

-In September 2011, the Planck satellite will have carried out four all-
sky sub-millimeter surveys in intensity and polarization. These data
will be complemented with higher frequencies observations from the
balloon-borne experiment PILOT to be launched in 2012. For the first
time we have access to an all-sky measurement of the spectral
dependance of the Galactic dust polarized emission. The study of the
dust polarized emission and its spectral and spatial variations will
provide new insights on the nature and evolution of dust and on the
alignment efficiency of the dust spin axis with the magnetic field
lines. This is an essential step toward understanding how to best use
dust polarization as a tracer of the Galactic magnetic field. The dust
polarized emission is also the main high-frequency foreground
contaminating the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization which
may reveal a signature from the Inflation epoch (the so-called B modes).
The goal of the PhD is to characterize the spectral dependance of the
dust polarized emission, the average spectrum and the spatial
variations. We will model these properties to gain a physical
understanding of dust polarized emission and alignment efficiency
which will involve the evolution of dust grains through their life
cycle in the Galaxy. Our success in this ambitious project will
uniquely contribute to predict the dust polarized emission at CMB
observation frequencies and to the search for CMB B polarization modes
with Planck and later experiments.
The PhD will combine data analysis and modelling. The applicant will
use and contribute to develop two numerical codes: DUSTEM which
predicts the spectral dependance of dust emission both in intensity
and polarization and DUSTEV which follows the evolution and the size
distribution of dust grains in a given velocity field (turbulence,
shocks). The acquired skills open a wide range of possibilities for
future work on projects that will carry on measurements of dust
polarization, such as ALMA or SOFIA (
The Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS) is, since its early
stages, a driving force of the Planck project (P. I. of the HFI
instrument: Jean-Loup Puget, IAS). Since Planck launch, the MIC group
(Interstellar Medium and Cosmology) is a key player in the data
analysis of Planck data, both for cosmology and Galactic science (cf.
Planck Early Papers). The group just received a substantial 5 year
funding from the European Research Council (MISTIC project of François
Boulanger: to study the Galactic
polarized foregrounds for cosmology and Galactic science. The PhD we
are offering ideally fits into this context. The applicant will access
the Planck data before their public release, in the beginning of 2013,
and will participate to the publication of the first results on
Galactic polarization.