New Probes of Energy Transport in Stars: From Kepler to PLATO


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2015

  • Academic Year:

    2015 / 2016

  • Domain:


  • Supervisor:

    Mario J. P. F. G. Monteiro

  • Co-Supervisor:

  • Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Host Institution:

    Instituto de Astrofisica e Ciencias do Espaco

  • Abstract:

    Space missions are able to provide very precise photometric data that allows the implementation of a new generation of seismic probes to test and validate new physics in the regimes were stars operate. Energy transport (by convection and radiation) and chemical mixing are two of those components in the physics of theoretical models where astrophysics is still far away from the actual behaviour we measure with seismic data. This contributes significantly to the present incapacity of providing accurate stellar ages and models for the stars we want to study and model, in particular when these host planetary systems. In order to prepare a new generation of stellar physics that will provide a precise and accurate characterization and modeling of solar-like stars, to be observed with PLATO (an ESA mission in preparation with Portuguese participation) new models and tools are required. This PhD work plan will focus on finding alternative formulations of energy transport for convective regions and the inclusion of the impact that such formulations may have on chemical mixing inside stars of different masses and ages. These new models will then provide the basis for developing a new generation of seismic tools able to validate (or invalidate) the models against the observations of solar-like stars. The student will be required to work on stellar evolution modeling (open source codes) of stars and in the implementation of new physics in those codes. She/he will also have to develop and explore seismic tools that can be used to test the new models being implemented and use these tools on tactual data already available from Kepler (NASA), to be available very soon from TESS (NASA) and expected to be obtained in the future by PLATO (ESA). The project is mainly theoretical with a strong component of numeric work and development of open source codes for use by the community in the seismic study of solar-like stars.