Projects

Choose among these 9 projects

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Determining galaxy properties with PAUS using machine learning

Martin Børstad Eriksen, Observational Cosmology group

PAUS is state-of-the-art ongoing galaxy survey, using a custom instrument with 40 narrow bands. This allows for high precision distance determination. These data are also expected to give novel insight into galaxy properties, e.g. type, as a function of cosmic time. The student will work on machine learning (ML) approaches, either unsupervised or supervised, to explore these data. The student will have the chance to learn about machine learning techniques and data handling. A solid background in programming is beneficial.


Number of students: 1

Place: IFAE



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Gravitational Waves detection with the Virgo Interferometer

Mario Martinez, Lluïsa-Maria Mir, Gravitational Wave group

IFAE is a member of the VIRGO collaboration. This opens a new long-term research line in IFAE related to Gravitational Waves detection using terrestrial interferometry. A group of researches from IFAE has taken significant responsibilities in the VIRGO experiment related to the control of the stray light inside the experiment, which is considered a limiting factor for its sensitivity. In the physics analysis front, the IFAE team is developing a complete research program using LIGO/Virgo data for which a Deep Learning (DL) approach is being taken.

Project 1 Supervisor: Mario Martinez The candidate will have the opportunity to participate in the analysis of the data using a state-of-the-art DL approach together with the rest of the IFAE team.

Project 2 Supervisor: Lluisa Mir The candidate will be offered the opportunity to participate in the IFAE activities related to the construction of new detectors for Virgo, involving high-tech photosensors and sophisticated simulations of the propagation of light inside the interferometer.


Number of students: 2

Place: IFAE



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Simulation of COVID-19 propagation group

Martine Bosman,

IFAE is developing a powerful tool to simulate COVID-19 spread among the population of the Barcelona province by leveraging newly available demographic, mobility and health data. The simulation uses a stochastic approach, calculating the daily probability of each individual of becoming infected at home, at work/school, during community contacts and in public transport. The impact of the COVID-19 on distinct groups classified by age, zone of residence, etc. is studied. Future measures, e.g. vaccination campaigns, will be assessed.


Number of students: 1

Place: IFAE



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Superconducting quantum computers

Pol Forn-Díaz, Quantum Computing group

Quantum algorithms consists of a set of instructions in the form of unitary operations that need to be applied to the qubits in a quantum computer. At the higher-level of a quantum programmer, these instructions are independent on the physical implementation of the quantum computer. Deep down in the hardware implementation level, the instructions become translated into physical processes taking place in the actual physical qubits. Such translation unavoidably depends on the physical system that implements a quantum computer. In our group, we operate superconducting quantum circuits. Superconducting qubits are electrical circuits behaving as artifical atoms which resonate at the microwave frequency domain. Qubit operations correspond to microwave engineered pulses which rotate the qubit state at will. One of the projects offered will focus more on the hardware side, the other on the software side.


Number of students: 2

Place: IFAE



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Particle physics for the early universe and beyond

Pere Masjuan, Theory group

Particle physics play a crucial role in the evolution of the early universe but also to trigger several of the most appealing phenomena observed beyond this early moment. Based on the basic tools of Quantum Field Theory, the students will model such processes starting with Baryogenesis and going up to Nucleosynthesis and Star Formation, in a systematic way. A selection of these phenomena will be simulated using Python programming.

Within this approach, there are a number of different projects that can be developed depending on the student’s interests.


Number of students: 2

Place: IFAE



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The effect of the environment on the stellar mass-size relation in VIPERS galaxies

Malgorzata Siudek, Observational Cosmology group

Minor dry mergers are considered to be a very efficient process in increasing the size of the galaxies, especially of massive bulge dominated galaxies. As the probability of such mergers is different in different environments, we might expect to observe a dependence of galaxy sizes of their local environment, with galaxies in the dense environments being larger than those in less dense regions. However, the results presented in the literature so far are contradictory. Many studies have not found any correlation between the mean size and environment of galaxies. Some groups found positive correlations, some found an opposite trend. These discrepancies demonstrate that we are far from getting a clear picture of the impact of the environment on the galaxy sizes. Based on the unique spectroscopic sample of galaxies at redshift 0.5<z<1.2 provided by VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS), it is possible to study in detail different galaxy populations and the relation of their properties with the local densities. Taking the advantage of VIPERS, which for the first time provided a catalogue with a comparable statistical fidelity to local surveys, we can explore the environmental dependence of galaxy mass-size relation in the intermediate redshift.


Number of students: 1

Place: IFAE



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Particle Physics with the ATLAS Experiment @ the LHC

Imma Riu, Pilar Casado, ATLAS group

The student will work in the IFAE ATLAS group in topics such as:

  1. Search for new scalar particles beyond the Standard Model of particle physics in the ATLAS detector, using the full Run-2 dataset. The student will investigate improvements on the search analysis related to the neural network used to discriminate signal from background. Special emphasis will be put to the possibility of extrapolating it to a mass region for which no Monte Carlo simulation exists.
  2. Analysis performance of Higgs decays to a pair of tau leptons using the High Granularity Timing Detector foreseen for the ATLAS detector.


Number of students: 1

Place: IFAE



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Characterization of Pixel Detectors

Sebastián Grinstein, ATLAS Pixels group

Highly segmented silicon sensors are widely used in High Energy Physics as precision tracking devices. Upgrades of the CERN experiments to high luminosities set unprecedented requirements with respect to radiation hardness and require the development of new generations of silicon detectors. The student will work at the IFAE Pixel Lab to help gain a deep understanding of the charge collection and the underlying signal formation in the silicon sensors for particle physics or medical imaging applications.


Number of students: 1

Place: IFAE



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Early observations with the CTA_LST-1 gamma-ray telescope

Abelardo Moralejo, Gamma Ray group

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA, https://www.cta-observatory.org/) is the next-generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies. The first CTA telescope, LST-1, the most advanced of its kind worldwide, is already operational in the northern hemisphere site of CTA, at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary island of La Palma. IFAE has played a major role in the construction and the commissioning of the camera of LST-1. The students would work in the analysis of LST-1 observations taken during its commissioning phase. Good programming skills, preferentially with some experience in the use of Python, are required.


Number of students: 2

Place: IFAE



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