Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  The Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph: Fiber Modeling
Disciplines:  Astrophysics, Optics
Mentor:  Evan Kirby, assistant professor, (PMA), enk@astro.caltech.edu, Phone: 626-395-4200
Mentor URL:  http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~enk  (opens in new window)
Background:  The Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph is one of the largest pieces of astronomical instrumentation ever conceived for current telescopes. The spectrograph will obtain 2400 simultaneous spectra over 1.3 square degrees of sky. Each spectrum will be obtained through an optical fiber, which can be individually positioned to capture the light of a specific star or galaxy. The spectrograph will reveal the structure of our Galaxy and its neighbors, the evolution of galaxies throughout time, and the geometry of the Universe.
Description:  The fibers need to be precisely characterized so that the spectra can be interpreted accurately. The polish of the fiber tip, the bends and twists in the fiber, and the angle at which light strikes the fiber all affect the final spectrum. The student will work in an optical laboratory to create a database of the testing and the characteristics of each fiber. This work will involve precision optical equipment as well as computer programming.
References:  Overview of PFS:
http://pfs.ipmu.jp/

Science cases for PFS:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014PASJ...66R...1T
Student Requirements:  A strong background in scientific computing is required. Experience in SQL as well as Python or IDL is desired. Strong mathematical and statistics skills are also required.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.


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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
 
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