Theory and Modelling Group

Post 2: Substorms - Dr Mervyn Freeman


Substorms are to geospace what earthquakes and hurricanes are to geology and meteorology - physical phenomena that build up and release large quantities of energy in a transient, potentially destructive, and somewhat unpredictable way. The dynamics of substorms have been likened to those of dripping water taps, electrical circuits and, more recently, sandpiles [see Per Bak, "How Nature Works", Oxford University Press, 1997].

Drs. Mervyn Freeman and Nick Watkins would like a student to work with them on understanding when and why substorms occur. This will involve the analysis of data from instruments located in the Antarctic and from onboard spacecraft. The student may study the statistics of substorm occurrence, energy accumulation, energy dissipation, etc.


Physics, Mathematics and Engineering students with some scientific computing experience are preferred. The applicant should state their computing experience on their application, in particular the operating system(s), programming language(s), analysis and graphics packages with which they are familiar. No previous knowledge of the research subject is required, but an interest in scientific research is desirable.


The appointment will be for 10 weeks.