I plan to study the generation and evolution of magnetic fields in stars and especially in the Sun. I am particularly interested in the spontaneous generation of magnetic fields in turbulent plasma (i.e. dynamo action). Three dimensional MHD simulations of fully developed turbulent flows will be an important tool in my research. Especially when combined graphic vizualization, supercomputer simulations can contribute decisively in developing a qualitative and quantitative physical understanding of complex dynamical systems.
Of particular importance is the emergence of magnetic flux tubes from the bottom of the solar convection zone, the formation of bipolar sunspot regions, the decay of these active regions, and the subsequent diffusion of the active region fields across the solar surface. The surface processes are suspected to be an integral part of the global solar dynamo process, rather than just an indirect result of the subsurface processes. Current supercomputer capacity is sufficient to study these individual processes one by one, with the goal to understand building blocks of the global dynamo process. By comparing predictions from the numerical models with observational d (including recent helioseismic tomography results), it should be possible to establish whether or not the surface processes an essential part of the global dynamo process.