Archive for February 11, 2020

PhD Studentship in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics at Maynooth University!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 11, 2020 by telescoper

With the arrival of Dr John Regan in the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University we are delighted to announce a fully-funded PhD studentship. In order to boost the circulation, here’s a copy of the advert you can find on John’s own website.

–o–

 

Project Description. Recent detections of gravitational waves from stellar mass sized black holes with the LIGO observatory has opened up a new window for black hole astrophysics as well as heralding the dawn of multimessenger astrophysics. LIGO is sensitive to the mergers of black holes in the range 10 solar masses up to approximately 100 solar masses out to a few Megaparsecs.

LISA is the planned, next generation, space-based gravitational wave observatory due for launch in 2034. LISA will be sensitive to gravitational waves at a much lower frequency compared to LIGO and as a result will be able to detect the mergers of both much larger and much more distant black holes. Planning for LISA is now well underway and the science base and objectives are being determined.

This PhD project will involve computing gravitational wave forms from mergers of massive black holes from the early Universe – which will be detectable by LISA. The origin of massive black holes is currently unknown and hence being able to detect their mergers from the early Universe is seen as a critical aspect in understanding their formation pathways. In this project the student will use the state-of-the-art Enzo-E code to model the mergers of black holes. In doing so the student will be able to accurately compute the gravitational wave signal from black holes which are merging in the distant Universe thus making predictions for LISA.

Student fees and a full stipend (€18k per annum) are available as part of this studentship.

Candidate Criteria. Applicants should have (or be about to complete) an undergraduate degree and/or taught postgraduate degree in (applied) mathematics, (theoretical) physics, computer science or a related discipline. Past experience shows that successful applicants usually have a very good first class degree (or equivalent). Applicants with computational experience are particularly encouraged to apply. In addition, the applicants must have excellent communication, planning and team working skills.

Application Procedure

Application Deadline: Friday May 1st 2020

Students who wish to apply for this studentship should apply in writing to john.regan@mu.ie. Please put “PhD Studentship Position” in the subject of the email. The application must comprise:

  • A full CV
  • A covering letter outlining why you wish to pursue this PhD program
  • Two references, preferably from your current academic institution, outlining your suitability for the position

Shortlisted candidates will be notified of the outcome of the selection process in early May with interviews in mid-late May. The start date for the PhD is expected to be September 2020.

Please direct any questions or queries on the above position to Dr. John Regan (john.regan@mu.ie)

 

 

Not the Open Journal of Astrophysics Impact Factor – Update

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on February 11, 2020 by telescoper

 I thought I would give an update with some bibliometric information about the 12 papers published by the Open Journal of Astrophysics in 2019. The NASA/ADS system has been struggling to tally the citations to a couple of our papers but this issue has now been resolved.  According to this source the total number of citations for these papers is 532 (as of today). This number is dominated by one particular paper which has 443 citations according to NASA/ADS. Excluding this paper gives an average number of citations for the remaining 11 of 7.4.

I’ll take this opportunity to re-iterate some comments about the Journal Impact Factor. When asked about this my usual response is (a) to repeat the arguments why the impact factor is daft and (b) point out that we have to have been running continuously for at least two years to have an official impact factor anyway.

For those of you who can’t be bothered to look up the definition of an impact factor , for a given year it is basically the sum of the citations for all papers published in the journal over the previous two-year period divided by the total number of papers published in that journal over the same period. It’s therefore the average citations per paper published in a two-year window. The impact factor for 2019 would be defined using data from 2017 and 2018, etc.

The impact factor is prone to the same issue as the simple average I quoted above in that citation statistics are generally heavily skewed  and the average can therefore be dragged upwards by a small number of papers with lots of citations (in our case just one).

I stress again we don’t have an Impact Factor as such for the Open Journal. However, for reference (but obviously not comparison) the latest actual impact factors (2018, i.e. based on 2016 and 2017 numbers) for some leading astronomy journals are: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 5.23; Astrophysical Journal 5.58; and Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.21.

My main point, though, is that with so much bibliometric information available at the article level there is no reason whatsoever to pay any attention to crudely aggregated statistics at the journal level. Judge the contents, not the packaging.

This post is based on an article at the OJA blog.