Testing fundamental physics with stars

Advisor: Ippocratis Saltas (CEICO, IP CAS)

Funding: Fully funded. A generous budget for travelling will be available.

Website: https://ceico.cz/team/researchers/ippocratis-saltas

Contact: saltas@fzu.cz

The question of whether there exists new physics beyond the standard paradigm of particles and forces is the "million-dollar" question in current theoretical physics. Currently, various theoretical and observational challenges, most notably the pressing questions of dark energy and dark matter, call for the introduction of new fields and/or forces in the Universe. A key question that emerges is how to construct accurate and precision tests of new theories which can be tested against experiment at different scales in the Universe. In this regard, stars offer powerful laboratories that can allow for precision tests within a vast range of theories.

This project aims to develop new phenomenological tools at stellar scales which will allow to test the foundations of the standard model of particles and gravity, and provide a better understanding of the nature of the dark energy and dark matter. The project is broad and can take different routes depending on the actual theoretical framework (e.g dark energy theories), or the type of stellar environments considered. A key direction will be the theoretical modelling of stellar interiors and pulsations of main sequence stars such as our Sun, white dwarfs or neutron stars [1,2] through state-of-the-art analytical and numerical tools. Ultimately, predictions will be confronted against observations.

Adequate numerical skills in coding and numerical methods is essential, preferably Fortran and Python. A strong background on stellar astrophysics or the phenomenology of particle physics are also desirable.

References:

[1] I. D. Saltas & I. Lopes, PRL 123 (2019) no.9, 091103 - arXiv:1909.02552
[2] I. D. Saltas, I. Sawicki & I. Lopes, JCAP 1805 (2018) 028 - arXiv:1803.00541