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Theory and numerical modelling of kinematically complex "Cosmic Tornados"

Objective

Among different kinds of flowing astrophysical plasmas there is one class of flows that until now has been receiving very little attention: flows in which the ejectional and rotational modes of motion are combined. These flows (hereafter dubbed as "Cosmic Tornados"- CT) have very different composition, lifetimes and length scales in different astrophysical objects - (a) solar macrospicules and tornados, (b) outflows in young stellar objects, (c) jets in active galactic nuclei (AGN) - but their common feature is the presence of kinematically complex, swirling motion of plasma particles.

The principal objective of the present proposal is twofold:
1. To study the influence of the kinematic complexity of CT on collective phenomena (waves, vortices, instabilities) sustained by these flows; to develop self-similar models of CT; to investigate how substantially CT flows modify conventional collective modes and to what kind of observational appearances these modifications could lead. Our research will shed a light on the wide range of astrophysical problems involving CT: stability of solar macrospicules and tornados, heating of stellar jets, dynamics of relativistic extragalactic jets.
2. To study the processes of centrifugal acceleration of relativistic particles and flows by rotating magnetospheres of AGN in order to investigate the role of centrifugal relativistic drive on the generation of highly non-thermal and variable emission of AGN. The research will be carried out for all mentioned classes of CT through the theoretical modelling, state-of-the-art numerical simulations and subsequent confrontation of obtained results with existing observational data about related astronomical objects.

The project connects several fields of basic research: plasma physics, astrophysics, astronomy. Besides, the obtained results may be relevant in the context of a highly important environmental problem: devastating atmospheric calamities - tornados.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-MOBILITY-7
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IIF - Marie Curie actions-Incoming International Fellowships

Coordinator

CENTER FOR PLASMA ASTROPHYSICS, KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN (CPA/K.U.LEUVEN)