Thesis Topic: Star formation: probing magnetic fields and their spheres of influence


Thesis Supervisor: Gaitee Hussain




Magnetic fields play a key role in the early formation of low mass stars, from regulating the initial collapse of the protostar, controlling accretion from large circumstellar disks and their evolution along the early main sequence. Our previous work has shown that young stars can host a wide variety of magnetic field properties, which in turn can explain how efficiently the systems accrete mass. The success of this project has opened up a new area of astrophysics aimed at testing our understanding of the role of magnetic fields in the evolution of stars and young planetary systems.

The project would involve collecting and analysing data with the HARPS instrument at the ESO La Silla Observatory as well as the CFHT telescope in Hawaii. It will improving on the latest techniques to detect and analyse astrophysical magnetic fields, as well as associated magnetic and accretion phenomena in young stellar systems. Depending on the interests of the candidate the focus of the project can be adjusted to be more theoretical as this project is part of an international collaboration of observers and theoreticians to understand the formation of star and planetary systems in the first 100 Myr.

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