Postdoctoral opening AiMD

Postdoc position to explore the behavior of volatiles during the Giant Impact from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations

One postdoc position is available in the IMPACT ERC project based in Lyon, France, starting with autumn 2019.
The position is to study the supercritical state and the liquid – vapor equilibria of a variety of multicomponent silicate and oxide systems using large-scale ab initio simulations. The successful candidate will explore the role particular volatile systems play in the chemical equilibria of complex natural systems, their behavior in the magma ocean, and possible escape pathways. He/she will study broad giant impact and protolunar conditions, with typical temperatures in the 3000 – 15000 K range and densities in the 0.1 – 7 g/cc range. For comparison, average rocks at the surface of the Earth are found between 250 and 1700 K, and in the 2-3 g/cc density range.

Specific requirements for the successful candidate:
– PhD degree in computational mineral physics, solid-state physics, chemistry or materials science;
– extensive experience with performing large-scale molecular-dynamics simulations;
– good knowledge of python;
– strong publication record;
– proficiency in written and spoken English.

IMPACT aims to retrace the thermodynamic path of the condensation of the protolunar disk, to bring physical and chemical constraints on the impact model, and to characterize the formation of the Moon and of the Earth. Immediately after the Giant Impact, the largest parts of both the proto-Earth and the impactor melted and vaporized. They accumulated into a large protolunar disk. Everything inside the Roche radius fell down and condensed to form the early Earth. The outer mass partly fell onto the Earth, partly condensed to form the moon and partly was lost to space.
The postdoctoral position is for one year renewable once.
He/she will be financed and be part of the Impact group funded by the European Research Council (a bit of information is at: The group is hosted in the brand new offices of the Centre Blaise Pascal, the broad numerical and computing center at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, which is a small but elite institution.
Questions may be addressed to Dr. Razvan Caracas, but applications have to be done using the CNRS recruitment portal. The package will include CV, names of references, motivation letter, including specific interests and prior experience in areas related to computational mineral physics or material science. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

MoonImpact is supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement n°681818). PI: Razvan Caracas @ CNRS, ENS de Lyon
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