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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Characterizing the Slow Neutron-Capture Process in the Early Universe
Disciplines:  Astronomy, Astrophysics
Mentor:  Terese Hansen, Postdoc (Carnegie Observatories), (PMA),
Background:  Metal-poor stars are believed to be the first low mass stars to form in the Universe and preserve signatures of the nucleosynthesis happening in the first generation of massive and short-lived stars which we can no longer observe. A fraction of metal-poor stars show large enhancements in Carbon and slow
neutron-capture elements like Barium, the so-called CEMP-s stars. The majority of these are found in binary systems and received mass transferred from their companion, resulting in their peculiar abundance pattern. However, radial velocity monitoring of CEMP-s stars have found a subset to be single. Hence their abundances are likely a result of nucleosynthesis happening in the early Universe. Different types of progenitors have been suggested for these stars including fast rotating metal-free stars (spinstars) and various types of supernovae.
Description:  This project involves abundances analysis using high resolution, high signal to noise spectra of a sample of CEMP-s stars shown to be single from radial velocity monitoring. The goal is to determine stellar parameters for the stars and derived abundances for as many elements as possible from Li to Pb, and especially a large number of neutron-capture elements. The derived abundances patterns can then be compared to literature abundances derived for other CEMP-s stars to detect possible signatures specific to the single CEMP-s stars. Abundance patterns can also be compared to model yields to discriminate between the different suggested progenitor sites and thereby constrain the formation of slow neutron-capture element in the early Universe.
References:  Beers & Christlieb 2005, "The Discovery and Analysis of Very Metal-Poor Stars in the Galaxy", ARAA, 43, 531
Hansen et al. 2016, "The role of binaries in the enrichment of the early Galactic halo. III. Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars - CEMP-s stars", A&A, 588, A3
Student Requirements:  Position available to Caltech students only. Research will be conducted at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena as part of the summer student program which runs from June 18 - Aug 24. Students must be present for the full duration of the program.
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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