Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
PhD Project
Level: 
Masters Project
Level: 
Honours Project
Supervisor(s): 
Prof Michael Drinkwater

Supervisor: Prof Michael Drinkwater

It is well known that dense galaxy clusters contain a much higher fraction of elliptical galaxies compared to spiral galaxies than more typical less dense regions of the Universe. Many processes have been proposed to explain how spiral galaxies can change into elliptical galaxies in clusters, but this environment is very complex and no clear explanation has emerged despite two decades of research.

In this project we will test the hypothesis that this transformation (from spiral to elliptical galaxy) is caused by the merging of large galaxies. We will avoid the complex environments of clusters and just look at lower density galaxy groups where we hope a single process is driving this transformation, making it a tractable problem to solve.

In this, the observational part of the project, we will use data from the Sydney University "SAMI" galaxy survey to search for direct evidence of the transformation process taking place in local galaxy groups. The work will involve the planning and analysis of telescope observations and will require extensive data processing skills.