A Rolling Grant in Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Applied Mathematics

Abstract

Many astrophysical phenomena involve the complex interaction between magnetic fields, rotation and fluid flows. We intend to undertake a systematic and integrated programme of research to investigate this complex interaction in a wide variety of astrophysical objects. We shall utilise a combination of analytical and numerical techniques (including the application of cutting edge numerical algorithms optimised for use on massively parallel machines) to gain an understanding of such phenomena. Our unifying philosophy is to investigate the underlying fundamental physical interactions in these astrophysical fluids and to use expertise gained in one area in order to make progress on different objects that have the same underlying physical structures. The physical phenomena that we address are (1) The generation of magnetic fields in the Sun, including the formation of the well-known eleven year sunspot cycle. (2) The structure of sunspots and the link with the magnetic fields in the solar corona. (3) The form of convection and the generation of magnetic fields in planets. (4) The decay of magnetic fields in neutron stars (5) The dynamics of rapidly-rotating stars.

Publications

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Abreu J (2008) For how long will the current grand maximum of solar activity persist? in Geophysical Research Letters

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Botha G (2008) Numerical simulations of rotating axisymmetric sunspots in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Botha G (2012) Formation of magnetic flux tubes in cylindrical wedge geometry in Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

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Botha G. J. J. (2007) Nonaxisymmetric instabilities of convection around magnetic flux tubes in ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL

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Brummell N (2008) Flux Pumping and Magnetic Fields in the Outer Penumbra of a Sunspot in The Astrophysical Journal

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Brummell Nicholas H. (2008) FLUX PUMPING AND MAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE OUTER PENUMBRA OF A SUNSPOT in ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL

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Brummell, NH (2008) Convective dynamos with penetration, rotation, and shear in ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL

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Bushby P (2007) On Predicting the Solar Cycle Using Mean-Field Models in The Astrophysical Journal

 
Description Leverhulme
Amount £81,915 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 09/2009
 
Description NERC
Amount £542,607 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2011 
End 04/2014
 
Description NERC
Amount £542,607 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2011 
End 03/2014
 
Description STFC
Amount £662,140 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2010 
End 04/2013
 
Description Bayreuth 
Organisation University of Bayreuth
Department Department of Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint papers on the dynamics of sunspots (co-author Busse)
Collaborator Contribution Funding of PDRA beyond the grant, to continue research on sunspots
Impact Joint papers on the dynamics of sunspots (co-author Busse)
Start Year 2008
 
Description Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint research projects
Collaborator Contribution Many joint papers (co-author Proctor) on astrophysical fluid dynamics/MHD.
Impact Many joint papers on astrophysical fluid dynamics/MHD (co-authors Proctor or Weiss)
 
Description Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research projects.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research projects.
Impact Several joint papers.
 
Description Chicago 
Organisation University of Chicago
Department Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributors to joint research papers.
Collaborator Contribution Many joint papers on astrophysical fluid dynamics and MHD (co-authors Cattaneo or Mason).
Impact Many joint papers on astrophysical fluid dynamics/MHD
 
Description Chicago 
Organisation University of Chicago
Department Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research project. Shared computer resources.
Collaborator Contribution As above.
Impact Several journal papers.
 
Description Lockheed 
Organisation Lockheed Martin
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborative research on sunspots
Collaborator Contribution Joint papers on the dynamics of sunspots (co-author Hurlburt)
Impact Joint research papers on sunspots (co-author Hurlburt)
 
Description Monash 
Organisation Monash University
Department School of Mathematical Sciences
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint research projects in solar physics
Collaborator Contribution Joint papers on solar physics (co-author Cally)
Impact Joint research papers in solar physics (co-author Cally)
Start Year 2009
 
Description Santa Cruz 
Organisation University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint research projects in astrophysical fluid dynamics
Collaborator Contribution Joint research papers on various projects (co-authors Brummell, Glatzmaier)
Impact Joint papers, co-authors Brummell, Glatzmaier
 
Description UC Santa Cruz 
Organisation University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Department Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative astrophysical research.
Collaborator Contribution As above.
Impact Journal papers and postdoc exchanges.
 
Description Doncaster Astronomy Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two members of the group have given talks to a local astronomical society. Very lively discussions with a very well-informed audience.

The society contacted us to say how much the members enjoyed the lectures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008
 
Description Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with Radio Berlin, to explain one of the fluid dynamics experiments conducted in space and, more generally, wider topics in astrophysical fluid dynamics.

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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description School Visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Members of the group have given many talks to schools, all over the UK - e.g. in Manchester, Poole, London, and many in Yorkshire. These can range from students just beginning secondary school (aged 11) through to sixth from students. These always go down well and provoke a lot of questions.

Schools often comment that the students find such talks very enjoyable --and provide the students with some idea of what scientific research entails.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Both investigators give talks to secondary schools across the country, ranging from year 7 students through to sixth-formers.

These always are well-received, and provide a way of informing students about the beauties of science beyond what they learn at school and also some taste of post-school science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011