Solar Physics

Solar Flares

A primary interest of the group is the theory and observation of solar flares. Solar flares are sudden, rapid brightenings in the solar atmosphere, associated with the restructuring of the coronal magnetic field. Our work on flares includes both theory and observations. We are also Co-I’s on NASA’s RHESSI mission, which produces flare X-ray and gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy.

Flare plasma theory

We conduct theoretical and numerical investigations of the physics of flare plasmas, spanning plasma turbulence, electron transport and acceleration, wave interaction with the flare atmosphere, and the generation of X-ray, gamma-ray and radio emission.

Flare diagnostics

We use data from multiple sources, including RHESSI, Hinode/EIS, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, to deduce the physical properties of flare plasmas in the corona and the chromosphere.

Solar Prominences

Solar prominences and filaments are another dramatic manifestation of the Sun’s activity. They are a striking example of plasma confinement in the solar system: the magnetic field shapes these structures where relatively cool and dense plasma is suspended in the hot and tenuous corona. They can be studied with a wide variety of instruments from the ground and from space. Our group analyses the emission from prominences and filaments with the help of in-house modelling of their radiative properties, from the extreme ultraviolet to the mm continuum.