University of Sheffield
Solar coronal loops observed by the TRACE mission Sun-Earth interaction
PPARC IUSS 2007 International Undergraduate Summer School
in Particle Physics and Astronomy
The University of Sheffield (UK)
17 June - 13 July 2007


Organisation Download Poster
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 who receive continuous and long-standing funding from PPARC. These are: 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.

Information on lectures and course activities
The course will be broadly split into three sections as follows:
  • Lectures
    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.
The University of Sheffield has excellent facilities to run the IUSS successfully. All lectures will be in the recently refurbished lecture theatres of the Hicks Building on Hounsfield Road (for location see the maps), which accommodates the Department of Applied Mathematics, and, the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Apart from these modern lecture theatres with modern technical equipment, we will provide computer access for all the students (and external invited lecturers, if necessary) for the duration of the programme, students having access to additional material needed for the lectures and their projects. An information pack, which will be sent to the accepted students well in advance, will include a booklet containing the list of participants (students, lecturers and supervisors) with their affiliation, a list of the lecture titles and abstracts, a timetable for the school, a list of suggested reading for the lectures, a list of the available student projects and local information about Sheffield and the university. We request from the lecturers to provide their notes and lectures electronically. The electronic material will be disseminated through the School's website; so watch this space.

For more details on the lectures, time table, available projects, site visits and social activities see the programme pages.

Accommodation and Travel
Accommodation for the accepted students will be provided free of charge for the period of the entire course at Ranmoor House Hall of Residence on campus. The Hall is within convenient walking distance (see the maps) to the lecture theatre as well as the city centre. Students will be provided breakfast and dinner. Living expenses will be allocated to each student to cover lunch.

Travel costs for accepted participants will also be fully reimbursed provided reasonable means of travel is used. Overseas students with airfares over 150 GBP must seek approval from the School Director prior the purchase of their travel tickets.

Application to participate
All interested students have to apply through the Registration pages (closed!). For a valid registration of interest and application to participate applicants have to fill in the Application Form (closed!) and arrange a Reference Letter (closed!). The Reference Letter must be sent to the Director of the School within three working days after an application is filed off. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity of chasing references on behalf of an application made. Applications not supplemented by a Reference Letter within the three-days deadline will be automatically discarded and removed from our data base without any further notice.

We encourage excellent and outstanding students with proven undergraduate academic records to make applications from the UK or from anywhere in the world. In particular, we strongly encourage students to apply from less favourable regions of the world, from developing countries or countries with economic difficulties and disadvantages. Minorities and female students are also encouraged to apply.

For further details on the application procedure, deadlines, conditions of an acceptable academic referee, etc. visit the Registration (closed!) pages.

Please contact the Marianna Keray if you have problems viewing any of the links or content of the webpage.