Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Astrophysics and Physics of the Atmosphere

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   

Code Science Field
P520  Natural sciences and mathematics  Astronomy, space research, cosmic chemistry 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Astrophysics, meteorology, climatology, stars, interstellar and intracluster medium, transient sky sources, gamma ray bursts, galaxy clusters, atmospheric large-scale dynamics, climate dynamics, data assimilation, numerical weather prediction, predictability, precipitation, air quality.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (35)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  53653  Kevin Luke Beeson  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021 
2.  50240  PhD Danijela Birko  Geology  Technical associate  2018 
3.  38238  PhD Aurora Clerici  Physics  Junior researcher  2015  15 
4.  01486  PhD Andrej Čadež  Physics  Retired researcher  2016 - 2021  231 
5.  37923  PhD Klemen Čotar  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2021  78 
6.  06640  Bojan Dintinjana  Physics  Technical associate  2015 - 2021  85 
7.  33858  PhD Dunja Fabjan  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  119 
8.  15837  PhD Andreja Gomboc  Physics  Researcher  2015  753 
9.  22507  PhD Martin Horvat  Physics  Researcher  2018  76 
10.  54826  Doruntina Hoxha  Physics  Junior researcher  2021 
11.  53649  Samo Ilc  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021 
12.  34374  PhD Jure Japelj  Physics  Researcher  2015  84 
13.  35839  PhD Sonja Jejčič  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  64 
14.  39348  Damjan Jelić    Technical associate  2016 
15.  35896  Blaž Jesenko    Technical associate  2015  12 
16.  52914  PhD Khalil Karami  Physics  Researcher  2019 - 2021  28 
17.  32002  PhD Drejc Kopač  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  118 
18.  36500  PhD Janez Kos  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  99 
19.  35327  PhD Katarina Kosovelj  Physics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  18 
20.  28870  PhD Uroš Kostić  Physics  Researcher  2015  51 
21.  14331  Herman Mikuž  Physics  Technical associate  2015 - 2021  417 
22.  55931  Manica Perko  Physics  Junior researcher  2021  10 
23.  55351  Matic Pikovnik  Physics  Technical associate  2021 
24.  22508  PhD Andrej Prša  Physics  Researcher  2017  91 
25.  03162  PhD Jože Rakovec  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  518 
26.  23978  PhD Gregor Skok  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  174 
27.  30725  PhD Benedikt Strajnar  Physics  Researcher  2016  54 
28.  35328  PhD Matic Šavli  Physics  Technical associate  2017  17 
29.  36476  PhD Gregor Traven  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  57 
30.  51912  PhD Rok Vogrinčič  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  24 
31.  39349  PhD Žiga Zaplotnik  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2021  97 
32.  08000  PhD Tomaž Zwitter  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  631 
33.  21370  PhD Rahela Žabkar  Physics  Researcher  2015  121 
34.  26239  PhD Nedjeljka Žagar  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2019  262 
35.  36503  PhD Maruška Žerjal  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2017  48 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,059 
Program joins 4 main topics: (i) galactic archaeology and structure, including properties of stars and interstellar medium, (ii) transient sources in the Galaxy and beyond, (iii) galaxy environments, including clusters of galaxies, (iv) meteorological research. Item (i) includes participation and leadership involvement in the largest ongoing international spectroscopic surveys of the Galaxy (Gaia satellite, RAVE, Hermes/Galah, Gaia-ESO surveys) in order to clarify its structure and origin as a typical galaxy in the Universe, and with a specific focus on active stars and on properties of interstellar medium. Also (ii) will use Gaia and NASA's Swift satellite data coupled with world-class robotic and conventional telescopes to follow-up transient sources and establish their astrophysical nature and properties. In the core program we will focus mostly on gamma ray bursts (GRB). The emphasis will be on extremely energetic events produced in the strong gravitational field of black holes, therefore connecting various areas from high-energy physics and general relativity to stellar evolution and stellar dynamics in central parts of galaxies. In part (iii) we will focus on numerical modelling of galaxy environments of GRBs and on characterization of galaxy clusters' properties using modern cosmological simulations. Clusters of galaxies are the largest structures in dynamical equilibrium nowadays and are important as tools to determine cosmological parameters. They are also fundamental for interpreting the results of surveys with satellites as Euclid and Athena+. Their evolution and assembly leaves imprints on the thermal content of the hot ionised gas, the IntraCluster Medium (ICM), where most of cluster baryons reside. Meteorological research (iv) aims to extend the ongoing projects within the area of large/scale dynamics, data assimilation for numerical weather prediction (NWP), predictability research, precipitation analysis and verification, and integrated modelling of atmospheric processes with an integrated high resolution meteorological-chemical-transport model aimed at a better air-quality forecast. At the same time we provide the only research support to the development of operational NWP activities at the Slovenian environment agency (ARSO). New results on large-scale dynamics, data assimilation for NWP, global energetics, predictability, and ensemble forecasting are expected.A special emphasis will be devoted to methods used for verification of precipitation. A coupled climate, chemical transport, and meteorology modelling systems will be used at high spatial resolution. This is the only research group in the country dealing with the listed topics and the expected expansion of the group activity would allow its involvement in international projects and continued worldwide visibility via ongoing publication in top scientific journals. The results will directly foster university teaching and our extended science outreach and public service activities.
Significance for science
The group published 144 scientific papers in the last 6 years, including 3 papers (and another forthcoming one) in Nature and Science. Members of the past program have 13,251 citations in the last 10 years according to the WoS database. N.Ž. obtained the first Slovenian project of the European Research Council. We are also in a leading role in international collaborations. These data, considering that the group had a very modest total state financing of 2,1 FTE so far, demonstrate that we are doing a top quality research. Result of immediate relevance for this project will be a number of scientific articles published in top-ranking scientific journals, invited talks at international conferences and new PhDs who will benefit from exquisite datasets and software we are having access to. Below we outline main expected research achievements. (i) GALACTIC ARCHAEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE, INCLUDING PROPERTIES OF STARS AND INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM We will participate in galactic archaeology and cosmo-chemistry studies, but we will concentrate on developing new techniques and strategies to detect and correct for reddening, and to recognize peculiar and active stars, as well as the spectra with observational problems. Biased results of the chemical analysis and stellar parameter determination pipeline for these objects should therefore be avoided. We will derive 3D maps of the interstellar medium, catalogues, statistics and a tailored treatment/analysis of recognized peculiar stars. The goal is to study ISM towards every star and build self-consistent 3D maps of the ISM. These maps will improve photometric distances and will allow photometric colours and energy distributions to be used as (moderate weight) priors in spectroscopic derivation of stellar parameter values. All this sums up in a number of large scale population studies which are expected to better explain details of stellar evolution. Short lived phases will benefit most from the three (RAVE, Gaia-ESO, Hermes/GALAH) unbiased datasets we have priority access to. ii) TRANSIENT SOURCES IN THE GALAXY AND BEYOND GRBs are one of the hotest topics in Astrophysics today, and we are well part of this, demonstrated by our recent publications in Nature & Science. It is important to understand GRBs in view of the stellar evolution, which can lead to such catastrophic events, study of galactic environment (dust and gas properties in galaxies) and also the study of early galaxies and early Universe. Namely, GRBs can be, due to their extreme brightness (similar as quasars), used as unique cosmological probes, which illuminate otherwise dim distant galaxies. Possible or even probable discovery of orphan afterglows is expected to be of critical importance to verification of theoretical model for GRBs. For physics in general, GRBs are important for the study of relativistic shock waves, as a source of cosmic rays, neutrinos, photons with TeV energy and for the potential detection of gravitational waves, which are thought to be produced during the stellar collapse and merger to a black hole. iii) GALAXY ENVIRONMENTS, INCLUDING CLUSTERS OF GALAXIES We will be able to characterize with great detail how physical effects as supernovae, galactic winds and AGN feedback are influencing the observed cluster baryon properties and how they are shaping cluster accretion history. Our goal will be also to quantify the degree of substructure in galaxy clusters to understand cluster dynamics and predict the impact of baryon physics on the intrinsic scatter in observed scaling relation both in X-rays and microwave wavelengths. Results obtained with detailed high resolution simulations and using large statistical sets of galaxy clusters will be placing theoretical constraints on physical processes that are affecting cluster mass calibration. Moreover, improving the characterization of the ICM properties in clusters, especially at higher redshift, will be extremely important for upcoming observational surve
Significance for the country
This the only research program in the areas of weather forecasting, climatology, astrophysics and cosmology in Slovenia. We are proud to point out that the team is composed of 10 PhDs, 5 of each gender. Also, women are leading 3 out of 4 workpackages. The program has an extraordinary importance for the society: Economy sectors Improvements in weather forecasting and predictability quantification link naturally with important economic questions in the insurance, energetics and agricultural sectors. An example is a collaboration with the Insurance company Maribor which we worked with through the Center of excellence Space.si. Another example are our expert opinions related to larger investments in energetics (wind turbines at Volovja reber, pollution risks at Lafarge and at Krško plants). Existing and new companies Several companies show much interest to employ our students. An example is astrophysical research, which should frequently find the simplest explanations of phenomena which were discovered only recently, using creative thought in the process. Notably, GRBs, extrasolar planets, dark energy or Galactic archaeology are terms which did not or barely existed two decades ago. Individual companies interested in our students are SMEs, like Cosylab and Sinergise. Sometimes students decide to establish their own company, a recent example is meteorologist dr. Vanja Blažica who finnished her PhD with us last year. Public sector We are providing the only research support to daily weather forecasting at the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO). It benefits from our active involvement in applied projects in the area of daily weather and air quality prediction. Dr. Vanja Blažica, who recently finnished her PhD with us, won an award of the European geophysical union for her work on the operative prognostic model ALADIN-Slovenia (http://www.egu.eu/awards-medals/union-osp-award/2013/vanja-blazica/). ARSO is also an important employer of our students. Development of professional procedures By developing research codes which are applicable also to routine weather prediction we help in developing professional procedures at ARSO. An example is a daily weather forecast at a higher spatial resolution and a detailed forecast of air quality – see results at our website meteo.fmf.uni-lj.si. Public infrastructure and preservation of natural heritage Our online integrated atmospheric models contribute to better forecasting of severe weather events and their consequences (fires, floods), to identify cost-effective measures towards transport management and energy production, contribute to the reduction of detrimental combined health effects and enhance quality of life especially in urban areas. This applies to protection of natural heritage in case of severe weather events. International collaborations and promotion of the country Our involvement in several important international research projects, often in a leading role, is discussed elsewhere. This assures that the society can have direct benefits from the knowledge and experience we gain and share. Our equal-footing level with international partners promotes Slovenia as a highly developed country with a well educated workforce on a par with the world. Promotion of national identity and science outreach Understanding research achievements can be a source of national pride, fostering national identity. It also contributes to the increased interest of young people to study natural sciences. The group is very active in science outreach and in communicating scientific results to the general public. We do: (1) our own daily weather forecast calculated with increased spatial resolution and a detailed forecast of air quality, see meteo.fmf.uni-lj.si), (2) daily astronomical news digest (www.portalvvesolje.si) and translation of astronomy picture of the day (apod.fmf.uni-lj.si), (3) monthly public lectures for the general public within a lecture series entitled "A journey through the Universe (www
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
Views history