PhD position open in Cosmic dust group

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 17:28:29 MDT

Dear Extropes,

We have an opening, available now, for a PhD position in our Cosmic
Dust group at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik in Heidelberg,

The group:

Our Dust group is devoted to the study of interplanetary and
intergalactic dust in the solar system. In particular, the head of
the group, Eberhard Gruen, builds and flies dust detectors on
spacecraft. Almost every spacecraft flying with a dust detector was
built by him- currently his Cassini, Galileo, Ulysses, and Gorid
dust detectors are all returning good dust data.

Gruen is well-respected in the planetary science community -- so much
so, that he has an almost god-like status, and he is an exceedingly
nice man too. Our group is small - less than 10, and we all work well

In addition, our group has the infrastructure at MPI-K to support a
dust accelerator (one of only two in the world), which is necessary
to test theories for how dust charges and impacts bodies in space.

In July 2001, our group will be hosting the annual
Galileo-Ulysses-Cassini-Stardust Dust workshop in Heidelberg, so
that will be a great opportunity to meet the other researchers in
the field (typical attendance is about 70).

Your work:

Is about the charging and dynamics of dust particles in planetary
magnetospheres. However, if you like lab work, you can probably
switch to a thesis topic involving the interpretation of mass
spectra from impact ionization detectors, to help in the
interpretation of Cassini dust data.

The charging and dynamics of dust in planetary magnetospheres is my
research area, so you will possibly go into research avenues that I've
not been able to get to in my thesis, and I will be around long enough
to help you get started.

The living environment:

Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany- it is a
popular tourist attraction for both Germans and non-Germans, alike.
It is a college town, built around an old university and a very
large old castle. It is one of the few places in Germany that was
not bombed during WWII. It is surrounded by the thick Odenwald
forest and it has mild temperatures. The Rhein valley is the warmest
part of Germany.

Housing is expensive- it is the second most expensive city to live
after Muenchen. However, most of the other living expenses (food
etc.) are about half of what I was paying in California. So, even
though German PhD students don't earn very much, they can live

Heidelberg is located well for travel to other parts of Europe and
easy to travel by train, or by long-distance bus. Frankfurt, the
busiest airport in Europe is one hour's drive away.

To qualify:

You should have achieved the equivalent of a Physics German "diplom"
status which equals an American Master's degree. The time for PhD
thesis is 2 years + a one year extension (typical).

Your nationality is not important, but you should have some
knowledge of the German language. Working language is either English
or German.

You can contact me about this position:
and I will pass the word on.

To see more of our group's work, visit:



*************************************************************** Amara Graps | Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik Interplanetary Dust Group | Saupfercheckweg 1 +49-6221-516-543 | 69117 Heidelberg, GERMANY * *************************************************************** "Never fight an inanimate object." - P. J. O'Rourke

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