Advanced study for a Ph.D. (called a D.Phil. in Oxford) can be completed as part of the EODG. The type of problems to be solved are often multidisciplinary requiring knowledge of a subset of topics from optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, chemistry, statistics and linear algebra. The applicants we are seeking should have a strong background in the quantitative sciences (physics, maths, chemistry ...). During the course students become an expert on their topic and acquire knowledge in areas such as radiometery, radiative transfer, computer programming and remote sensing. While our projects on satellite data analysis are computer based we do offer projects in hardware development and laboratory measurement. Although many projects are offered each year the expectation is that only one or two will be pursued in any given year by students who have been awarded funding. After their D.Phil., EODG graduate students have gone on to a variety of careers. To get an idea have a look here.
To complete a Physics D.Phil. within EODG you must obtain funding from a competitively based source.
The admission procedure is explained here.
Typically a D.Phil. involves original research which progresses earlier studies. Many of our projects are associated with internationally funded research so a student may be expected to attend team meetings (typically in Europe or the US). During the D.Phil. course students will present their results (usually a poster) at national and international conferences. Students are also encouraged to publish their findings in the peer-reviewed literature.
Volcanic plumes of ash and gas are two of the many hazards associated with volcanic eruptions. Monitoring them is essential for mitigating these hazards. In addition by quantifying emissions it is possible to learn something about the volcanic system. While ground based monitoring networks and field campaigns are valuable, these are often expensive, logistically challenging and have a limited spatial extent. Satellite remote sensing is a cost-effective alternative to some of these limitations and can be used to track the propagation of plumes in the atmosphere as they travel across the globe.
The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) has previously been shown to have potential for estimating the mass and height of ash and SO2, including from smaller emission sources such as non-eruptive passive degassing, small eruptions and anthropogenic activity. As an infrared instrument, IASI can make measurements at night and during high latitude winters, meaning it could be complimentary to the more widely used UV instruments. The primary area of research is whether IASI measurements of SO2 can be used to identify changes in volcanic activity and if this can be used to infer something about the magmatic system. This involves comparison with other datasets e.g. ground based gas measurements, other satellite products and deformation signals. Other areas of interest are the determination of the height of volcanic ash clouds.
Aerosol effects many aspects of our life particularly human health. For example aerosol effects range from triggering an asthma attack to a reduction of life expectancy. The impact of aerosols depends on properties such as concentration, size, shape, composition and their hydroscopic/hydrophobic nature. For example, particles smaller than 2.5 μm are deposited deep in the lungs, where there is no efficient removal system. Furthermore, the composition of the deposited aerosol play a major role in the oxidative stress. Hence building an instrument which can measure aerosol properties is highly relevant.
The objective of the SPARCLE in-situ instrument is to provide measurements of number concentration and size distribution of a wide range of aerosols, as well as providing an indication of their composition and shape. These aerosol properties can be inferred by evaluating the spatial distribution of the scattered light by each aerosol particle. In SPARCLE, a single particle is illuminated by a red laser diode and the scattered light is measured by a CCD Camera which covers the scattering angles from 60° to 120°. SPARCLE is designed to be sensitive to particle sizes down to 600 nm.