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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

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. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

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

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Project:  Probing Cosmology and Gravitational Waves with Next-Generation Galaxy Surveys
Disciplines:  Astronomy/Astrophysics, Physics/Applied Physics
Mentor:  Olivier Dore, (JPL), Olivier.P.Dore@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 354-0690
Background:  Over the last few decades, precise measurements of the content and evolution of our universe have been made. However, some of the biggest questions remain: what is dark energy? What is dark matter? What is the nature of gravity?

The next decade, with many new galaxy survey missions set to begin, will possibly see the solution to these questions. These surveys, including the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, SPHEREx, Euclid, and the Vera Rubin Observatory, will allow the construction of large three-dimensional maps of both the visible and dark matter in our universe. These maps can be used to infer the statistical properties of the clustering of matter and the growth of structure, which constrain the properties of dark matter, dark energy, and gravity itself.

In addition, these surveys will provide precise data on the positions and velocities of stars in our galaxy and those near us. This data can be used to independently probe dark matter theories. It could also lead to the detection of gravitational waves produced by supermassive black holes.
Description:  The project will identify new observables, new measurement techniques, and quantify observational systematics affecting future galaxy surveys, such as the NASA Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope flagship and the NASA SPHEREx mission.
References:  - WFIRST-2.4: What Every Astronomer Should Know, Spergel et al. 2013, https://arxiv.org/abs/1305.5425
- Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope Website: https://roman.gsfc.nasa.gov/ (check out the About and Science tabs, especially)
- SPHEREx website: https://spherex.caltech.edu/ (check out the Science and Survey pages, especially)
- Anderson et al (2013) (https://arxiv.org/abs/1303.4666) for anisotropic clustering measurement from BOSS
- https://www.sdss.org/surveys/eboss/, https://www.sdss.org/science/cosmology-results-from-eboss/ for latest BOSS results.
Student Requirements:  Programming: Python or Julia. Good knowledge of classical physics and/or astrophysics. Knowledge of general relativity and/or cosmology a plus, but not required. Good knowledge of probability and statistics, advanced calculus, linear algebra.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: .
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

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

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