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The heating of coronal holes and the acceleration of the solar wind


Research objectives and content
Two key unsolved problems in Solar Physics, of central importance for astrophysics as a whole, are (i) how is the Sun's corona heated to extremely high temperatures compared with the surface values and (ii) how is the solar wind accelerated away from the solar surface. We plan a major attack as follows. (i! Coronal Heating A wave heating mechanism is needed to heat the open magnetic field regions of coronal holes. We shall investigate in detail a particulalrly promising mechanism, namely phase-mixing of Alfven waves.
(ii) Acceleration of the Solar Wind We shall model, in detail, the new observations from the SOHO satellite of coronal bullets, plumes and coronal mass ejections.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
(i) High quality training in techniques for doing independent research at one of the main MHD research centres in the world, which has successfully trained 44 PhD students over 2() years. (ii) Leaming techniques for analytical modelling, non-linear numelical modelling and comparing with space observations.
(iii) Attending high-level postgraduate courses on non-linear methods, MHD and computational techniques. (iv) Presentillg the results orally at major inlel-nalional scientitic conferences and summer schools. (v) Compleling a major work of scientific reseal-cll 011 a fundamental problem.
Links with industry / industnal relevance (22)

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


North Haugh
KY169SS St Andrews
United Kingdom