Srijan Bharati Das
Faculty Adviser: Jeroen Tromp
Year of Study: G4
Undergraduate School: IISER Kolkata
Undergraduate Major: Physics
I have spent the first 23 years of my life in a suburb called Serampore which is 23km from the city of Kolkata in India. Most of my childhood was playing cricket beside the river Ganges, trying to stay as far from academics as possible. Little did I imagine I would do a PhD. So, if you are one of those people who didn't always want to work on black holes since the age of 3, we're probably on the same boat.
I have a dual BS-MS in Physics. For my Master's thesis, I worked on how the solar (or stellar) wind interacts with planetary magnetospheres.
In the 4 years at Princeton, I have come to realize that you're surrounded by incredibly smart, hard-working people who are more than willing to help you accomplish your academic goals. Its a very synergistic environment.
In my free time, I have started playing the guitar (acoustic and classical), ukulele and the melodica. I also occasionally like to pencil sketch portraits.
Apart from the facts that --- I can cook authentic Italian pasta called Carbonara (taught by my Italian roommate), I have exchanged flight seats with arguably the most popular current Bollywood singer Arijit Singh and have made 50+ memes in one night, I can also move my ears voluntarily (after years of practice).
I study the solar and stellar interiors. The technical term for this is "Helioseismology" (when studying our Sun) and "Asteroseismology" (when studying other stars). Sun and the stars are composed of plasma (very hot, ionized gas) which are moving in all sorts of crazy ways (turbulent) inside the stars. These turbulent overturning of plasma stimulate standing waves inside the stars which make the whole star pulsate or oscillate. This is much like plucking a guitar string and observing how it oscillates (in combinations of sinusoidal shapes). The act of "plucking" the string of the guitar is equivalent to the turbulent overturning in the stellar interiors and the "sinusoidal shapes" of the guitar string is analogous to the surface oscillations of the stars in the form of "spherical harmonics".
Observing these solar/stellar pulsations we try to peek into their interiors and can estimate the density, rotation, convection, magnetism and all sort of things that is otherwise hidden from our sight.
I have a range of possible projects of varying lengths (from a month to a summer or more). It would require understanding of the physics and mathematics at play in the Sun (all of which can be learned in the process). Prior experience to coding is helpful. I use Python in most of my research. So, depending on whether you are interested in the math or the computation or the statistics, we can choose the project. Feel free to reach out to me over the in-person meetings for much more details.
Plans for Summer 2022
Confirmed pairing; no longer looking for a mentee.