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TU Berlin

Theses Topics

There is always more work to do in our group than people available. Therefore do not hesitate to ask for theses topics. We offer research problems in modern astrophysics to be tackled under supervision on all levels, i.e. PhD, Diploma (MSc), Bachelor (BSc, called "Bakkalaureat" in Austria).

The research fields (see the Research pages) range from Local ISM, to general evolution of ISM in star forming galaxies, dynamics of superbubbles, turbulence in compressible media, magnetic fields, cosmic rays, waves in plasmas, galactic halos and outflows from galaxies (galactic fountains, galactic winds), evolution of intergalactic medium in groups and clusters of galaxies.

The research methods we use are:

  • analytical, ranging from hydrodynamics, plasma physics, atomic physics (ionization, recombination, photon emission and absorption from gases), high energy astrophysics (relativistic particles, soft X-ray spectra, diffuse gamma-ray emission) to applied mathematics, solving ordinary (ODEs) and partial differential equations (PDEs) for specific problems, using differential geometry and tensor calculus for solving PDEs in different metrics
  • numerical, ranging from hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics to non-equilibrium ionization evolution of plasmas (atomic physics), using Riemann solver schemes to capture shocks


The suggested theses work is mainly theoretical and addresses fundamental astrophysical problems like:

  • What is the origin of the Local Bubble into which our solar system is embedded?
  • How does our local environment evolve with time?
  • Where do the local HI clouds come from?
  • How does the neighbouring Loop I superbubble evolve?
  • Is there a link between evolution of Local Bubble and Gould's Belt (a large expanding structure of stars and clouds)?
  • Do thermal gas phases in the ISM really exist?
  • What is the role of turbulence in ISM structure and evolution?
  • How is chemically enriched gas, generated by supernova explosions, mixed into the ISM?
  • What are the roles of thermal conduction, thermal instability and turbulence in transferring energy and mass in the ISM?
  • What are the characteristics of interstellar turbulence?
  • How do superbubbles break out of the galactic disk?
  • Under which condition does the "galactic fountain" (a gravitationally bound outflow) operate?
  • How is the fountain flow modified by gas infall (high velocity clouds)?
  • How can the diffuse ionized gas (DIG) layer above the galactic disk be maintained?
  • How can soft X-ray halos in star forming galaxies be interpreted?
  • How can the highest energy particles in the universe be accelerated to energies many orders of magnitude higher than in any terrestrial accelerator?
  • What are the maximun energies of cosmic rays to be obtained in galaxies?
  • How do cosmic ray nucleons and electrons propagate from their sources in the ISM through the galactic disk and into the galactic halo?
  • How can the diffuse gamma-ray gradient in the Milky Way, observed by the COS-B and EGRET satellite instruments, be explained?
  • Where does the gas in galaxy groups come from and how does it evolve?
  • What are the roles of galactic winds and ram pressure stripping in structuring the intergalactic medium in groups and clusters of galaxies?
  • How do galactic winds evolve?
  • Where does the large fraction of "metals" in galaxies come from, and how do they mix in the intracluster medium?
  • How do subclusters merge?
  • ... and many more!

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