Hi, I am

Vivek Kumar Jha

I'm a

About

A brief introduction

I am a Research fellow, pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Astrophysics at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational Sciences (ARIES). I was born in Darbhanga, the northern district of Bihar state, also known as the cultural capital of the Mithila region . I obtained my B. Sc. degree from the University of Delhi and M. Sc. degree from the Banaras Hindu University ( BHU ). Having completed my education in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, and partly in Tamil Nadu, I am currently nested in the beautiful hill city known as Nainital. My Ph.D. thesis is related to the extra-galactic domain of astrophysics. I am trying to understand the dynamics of matter in the inner regions of active galaxies. This website is my personal space where one may find articles/information related to my research, sometimes aimed for general understanding. Besides astronomy, I spend my time traveling, reading books, playing with animals, writing random things and discovering new technological advances. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by travel and thus, traveling has been one of my primary hobbies. I love writing travel articles based on my experiences! I'd like to hear from people who visit my page. You can use the social media buttons in the contact section or drop me an email.

Education

2018-present

Pursuing Ph.D. in Astrophysics

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gorakhpur University

Thesis title: Investigating the Nature and Structure of the Broad Line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei. Supervised by: Dr. Hum Chand and co-supervised by Prof. Shantanu Rastogi. Research centre: ARIES Nainital.

2015-2017

Master of Science (M Sc.) in Physics with specialization in Space physics

Banaras Hindu University

I specialized in space physics. The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) was 7.3. The final year dissertation was titled: Study of properties of CsI as a suitable photocathode for UV astronomy purposes.

2011-2014

Bachelor of Science (B Sc.) with honors in Physics.

Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi

I graduated with an honors in Physics. The aggregate percentage: 68.69%

Research experience

2018-present

Junior Research Fellow (JRF)

Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciencES (ARIES)

Research fellow, pursuing research at this institute leading to the Ph.D degree at DDU Gorakhpur. The details of my research activities can be found in the research section.

2017-2018

Research Intern

Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA)

6 month internship project as part of Visiting Student Research program (VSRP). Project titled- Estimation of Solar magnetic fields using Spectropolarimetric data obtained from Kodaikanal Tunnel telescope. Supervised by: Dr. K Nagaraju.

2016-2017

M Sc. dissertation project

Banaras Hindu University

Dissertation titled- Study of properties of CsI as a photo cathode for UV astronomy purposes. as part of M Sc. Physics degree. Supervised by: Prof. B.K. Singh. The dissertation work was a part of this publication and it was presented at a national conference, subsequently published in the proceedings.

Skills

Computer Skills

I am fluent in the usage of Python language for the general programming purposes. I use astropy affiliated packages like CCDPROC and PHOTUTILS for the optical data reduction procedures. I use the mcmc based code JAVELIN extensively. Besides JAVELIN, I have used ICCF, DCF, CREAM etc. for cross correlation analysis. I have been implementing Jupyter-notebooks for most of the projects as I feel the notebook-based implementation is the most transparent and easy way for codes to work. I use GitHub for keeping the codes together and as a version control system for my projects. Besides Python based packages, I have used IDL language in the past and have some experience programming with FORTRAN as well.

Language Skills

I use English, Hindi and Maithili as languages for communication. Maithili is my mother tongue, Hindi was learnt as I have spent almost my entire life in Hindi speaking regions of India and English has been taught as a medium of instruction ever since I went to school. As a result, English is my primary language for all formal communications. Besides there three, I can read and write Bangla/Assamese due to my fondness for the script.

Telescope experience

I have observed using the telescopes located at ARIES, namely, the 1.04m ST, 1.3m DFOT and 3.6m DOT . Besides these telescopes, I have observed remotely using the network of Thai Robotic Telescopes (TRT) located in USA, Australia, Thailand and China. I have the experience of reducing and analysing the data obtained from these teelscopes. We are developing an aperture photometry pipeline, written purely in PYTHON. The details can be found here. . Following is a list of competitive telescope time awarded for the various proposals:

  1. Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT). In search of luminous Quasars at the cosmic dawn, cycle: 2020-C2 (Oct-2020:Jan-2021), as PI.
  2. Thai Robotic Telescope (TRT). Photometric reverberation mapping of the accretion disk in AGN, cycles: 8A (Oct-Dec:2020), 7D (Jul-Sep:2020) and 7C (Apr-Jun:2020) as PI.
  3. Devasthal Fast Optical telescope (DFOT). Photometric Reverberation Mapping of central region of AGN using H-beta emission line, cycles: 2019 (A), 2019 (B) and 2020 (A), as PI
  4. Sampoornanand telescope (ST). Multi-wavelength photometric observations of a few Low Red-Shift Broad Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies, cycles: 2018 (B), 2019 (A) and 2020 (A), as PI
  5. Very Large Telescope-European Southern Observatory (VLT-ESO). Dissecting baryon cycle in overdense environments, cycle: P106 as Co-I. PI: Ravi Joshi

Awards/Fellowships

2018-present

Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)

JRF awarded for 3 years by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), an arm of Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.

2017

Qualified JEST-2017

Joint Entrance Screening Test

Entrance exam for admission to Ph.D. in Physics at premier research institutes in India.

2016-17

ISRO-SSPS fellowship

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Competitive fellowship awarded by ISRO to the final year M.Sc students for promotion of space science research in India.

Research

Research

My research is currently centered in the domain of extra galactic astronomy. Our group studies the properties of the most luminous objects in the known universe yet: Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). We use a variety of techniques backed by observational data ranging from X-ray to radio wavelengths in order to understand the behaviour of matter in the close proximate regions of the Supermassive Black Holes residing at the centre of these objects. My thesis is aimed at resolving the inner (sub-parsec) regions of these objects through multi band observations and infer the structure and kinematics of matter in those locations.

Know more

Travel

Travel articles

Born with an innate desire to travel around the world, I consider myself lucky to be in a profession where I can travel a lot both for work and fun. At the moment, my travel diary is filled with a few places in India coupled with a visit to China but with time I aim to travel to all the 7 continents on the planet. Some recent travel blog posts are posted below.

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Trip to "God's own country"

Nov. 03, 2018

I traveled to Kerala in October 2018 only to be left mesmerized by the beauty, culture and the cleanliness of the part of my country rightly known as the 'God's own country'. This article is my version of the experience I had in approximately a week that I spent in Kerala.

My maiden trip to China

Oct. 01, 2019

China as a place, has always fascinated me since childhood! This article is about my maiden trip to China, which resulted due to an international conference held in Guilin, Guanxi province.

Nagaland: My first impressions.

May. 12, 2018

Not too many people have Nagaland in their bucket list. Uncomfortable roads, poor transport system and a lot of corruption are a few factors which contribute to it. Added to it the stories of a still very active insurgency, Nagaland although an extremely beautiful hill state doesn’t manage to attract a lot of tourists. I traveled to Nagaland and of course, will definitely want to visit again!

Blog

My Blog

Sometimes few random things cross my mind and get structured ​ in the form of sometimes little, sometimes eerily long blog posts. Currently, my blog is live on medium. A few posts are avilable below.

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The land of the Seven Rivers: a short review

Sept. 12, 2019

Two books by Sanjeev Sanyal, a noted economist: 'Ocean of Churn' and 'The land of the seven rivers' offer a very different perspective on the history of ancient India, in a manner untold before. Both of the books offer a very interesting journey through the geography of India and its surrounding lands and the ocean. I present a brief review of both the book simultaneously.

Living in the Coronavirus Lockdown

July. 30, 2020

A personal account of the lockdown implemented to counter spread of the ongoing COVID-19 disease.

Resurgence of the radio.

Nov. 18, 2019

The radio has seen a rapid change thanks to the internet broadcast. With 100,000+ channels available to listen for free, is it a watershed moment for the world of radio entertainment? In this article, I put my thoughts regarding the resurgence of radio in the internet era and how to enthrall ourselves with the exciting world of radio.

Physics in the Pandemic:Meeting face to face is a luxury we can't afford right now!

July. 30, 2020

My experience of the work getting affected by the coronavirus lockdown published in the Physics world magazine.