Reverse feedback? The role of jet mass loading in regulating the growth of massive galaxies

Closing Date

31st December 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

It may seem odd to compare black holes to thermostats, yet mounting evidence suggests this is precisely their role in galactic ecosystems. The Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) phenomenon in galaxies is intermittent, but the drivers of both the triggering and cessation of black hole activity are not yet well constrained. One clue lies in the different environments inhabited by fast, powerful jets, and their slower, less powerful counterparts. These two types of jets also impart very different types of feedback on the surrounding gas, and hence understanding their origins is important to galaxy formation and evolution studies. Recently, it has been hypothesized that low-power jets are disrupted due to the slowing down of the jet by external gas and/or star formation in the jets' host galaxy.

This project aims to test this hypothesis by combining state-of-the-art jet and galaxy formation models. The project will use the PLUTO astrophysical fluids code to simulate the propagation of jets with different properties in a range of environments. In each case, predictions will be made for both the efficiency of jet feedback, and observable properties of jet-inflated structures. Model predictions will be confronted with observational data from leading Australian and international projects. This project will be performed in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Hertfordshire and the ASTRO-3D ARC Centre of Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics.

  • Open to Australian (domestic) candidates and to International candidates
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class or second upper Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants from a variety of disciplines are eligible to apply

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Assessment Criteria
  • Degree-level undergraduate education in physics, astronomy, or a related subject
  • Familiarity with numerical simulations, analytical modelling and/or astronomy techniques
  • Coding experience
Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Stas Shabala for further information.