Community:Announcement pparc07

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(Posted 27 Feb 2007)


17 June - 13 July, PPARC International Undergraduate Summer School, Sheffield, UK, - due 13 April

Particle Physics and Astronomy International Undergraduate Summer School (IUSS), 17 June - 13 July 2007, Sheffield


The next Particle Physics and Astronomy International Undergraduate Summer School (IUSS) supported by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom is hosted at The University of Sheffield in collaboration between three departments: the Department of Applied Mathematics (AM) with expertise in solar, solar-terrestrial and space physics and cosmology; the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE) with research experience in magnetospheric physics, advanced analysis technique, and scientific spacecraft instrumentation; and the Department of Physics and Astronomy (PA) covering particle physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

Aims of the School

The IUSS, in form of a four-week intensive course, is aimed at bright and motivated undergraduate students from around the world who are seriously considering a research career in the areas of astronomy and particle physics in PPARC's remit. It will be expected that the selected participating undergraduate students for the course shall have at least two years studies completed in appropriate subjects and to be at least a year from receiving their undergraduate degrees. It is highly probable for such students that a decision is not yet taken for a post-graduate career choice.

The summer school will be designed to give students a taste of the exciting, world leading research programmes undertaken in the UK and place them in the context of global research activity within the remits of PPARC science. The attendees will experience the flavour of life as a scientist that will inspire them to continue their studies at an advanced level.

The course will be broadly split into three sections as follows:


A series of lectures will introduce students to the subjects of astronomy, astrophysics, space physics, particle physics and cosmology, providing them with a broad overview of these exciting areas of modern physics. This will be followed by a series of specific lectures providing a greater insight into the areas of active PPARC research. The subjects to be covered are as follows:

Particle Physics - Introduction to the Standard Model (quarks, leptons, forces); QCD; Experimental Particle Physics (colliders and detection systems) and data analysis techniques (event identification); Astro-Particle Physics (early universe, gamma rays, neutrinos); and, Beyond the Standard Model.

Astronomy - The Universe at Different Wavelengths; High Redshift Universe (galaxy formation, galaxy structure) Local Universe; Star and Planetary Formation; Observing and Detection Instrumentation (covering X-ray to radio telescopes, detectors for active optics, imaging, and spectroscopes); Data Analysis Techniques, Dark Matter and Energy.

Space physics - The Solar System; Planetary Magnetospheres; The Sun; Space Weather; Relationship with Astrophysical Objects; Space Instrumentation; and, Data Analysis Techniques.

Research Project

As part of the course, each student will undertake a small individual research project. This will provide the students with hands-on experience of obtaining, analyzing and presenting data to a wider audience. The topics of the research project will be linked to the lectures and will at the same time be complementary. Supervision will be offered by academic staff, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate research students.

Site Visits

The benefits of organising visits to scientific research establishments can be immense. Suitable visits will be organised free of charge to ESA ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre, The Netherlands), Jodrell Bank Observatory, and to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Funding for students is available, although air fares for students outside the UK may not be fully refunded. Applications and letters of references are due 13 April. More information is available at
or contact

Professor Robert von Fay-Siebeburgen, School Director
The University of Sheffield
Dept. of Applied Mathematics
Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road
Sheffield S3 7RH
England, UK
Tel: +44-(0)114-2223832
Fax: +44-(0)114-2223739
Robertus [at]

-- Revised 27 Feb 2007 by