Last week I accepted a place at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) to begin an Astrophysics PhD there in September (2013).
I plan for this blog to be an integral part of my PhD experience; somewhere I can collect my thoughts, including summaries of journal clubs, seminars, papers, conferences, problems I come up against and interesting conversations that spark new thoughts.
MSSL is part of University College London (UCL) and is based at what used to be Holmbury House in the ‘Guildford-Dorking-Horsham Triangle’.
For the last (almost) two years I have been working at the National Space Centre in Leicester, in their Education and Space Communication Departments. It’s been a great job and I have enjoyed most of my experiences, but I miss the challenge of academic study. A PhD seemed the perfect fit.
My thesis will be based around “High Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of Active Galactic Nuclei”. Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are extremely bright regions in the centres of galaxies – places we expect there to be lots of material falling into supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and emitting all kinds of light as they do so. I believe most of my data will come from the XMM-Newton Space Observatory.