Solar and Magnetospheric Plasma Theory

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract

In the present Rolling Grant application the Solar and Magnetospheric Theory Group (SMTG) of the University of St Andrews asks for funding to investigate fundamental physical processes occurring in the solar atmosphere and the magnetosphere. The research topics we want to investigate using plasma theory are: i) the emergence of new magnetic flux through the solar surface into the solar atmosphere, ii) the use of MHD waves to deduce properties of the coronal plasma and magnetic field (coronal seismology), iii) the physical mechanisms which keep the corona much hotter than the lower parts of the solar atmosphere (coronal heating), iv) magnetic reconnection, a process of extreme importance for energy release of magnetised plasmas, v) solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which are the most powerful manifestations of solar magnetic activity and vi) the physics of ultra-low frequency waves in the Earth's magnetosphere and how they contribute to the acceleration of electrons causing the aurora.

Publications

10 25 50

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Alexander C (2011) Hinode observations and 3D magnetic structure of an X-ray bright point in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Andries J (2009) Coronal Seismology by Means of Kink Oscillation Overtones in Space Science Reviews

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Appourchaux T (2008) POLAR investigation of the Sun-POLARIS in Experimental Astronomy

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Archontis V (2010) Flux emergence and coronal eruption in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Archontis V (2007) Nonlinear MHD dynamo operating at equipartition in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Archontis V (2007) Emergence and interaction of twisted flux tubes in the Sun in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Archontis V (2008) Magnetic flux emergence in the Sun SOLAR FLUX EMERGENCE in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

 
Description EU FP7 Project
Amount £88,160 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2011 
End 01/2014
 
Description Research Project Grant
Amount £109,109 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2010 
End 05/2013
 
Description Rolling Grant Continuation
Amount £2,072,581 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2010 
End 03/2015
 
Description Collisionless Reconnection 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Goddard Space Flight Center
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We provided calculations of initial states and carried out first simulations of collisionless reconnection in force-free current sheets (Harrison, PhD thesis, St. Andrews, 2010).
Collaborator Contribution Provision of numerical codes and expertise, apart from general research collaboration
Impact PhD thesis Mike Harrison, 2010 (funded by PPARC/STFC Quota award) Leverhulme Project Grant awarded 2010 Hesse et al., Space Science Reviews 2011 (published online already)
Start Year 2007
 
Description Dundee 
Organisation University of Dundee
Department Division of Mathematics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of expertise and codes, joint supervision of PhD students, joint seminars, exchange of ideas
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of ideas, joint seminars, joint supervision of PhD students, provision of expertise and codes
Impact Numerous joint papers
 
Description Global Coronal Modelling 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a longstanding collaboration on numerical models of the global coronal magnetic field. Our research group has made numerous contributions to the development of the codes and to the scientific output of this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in solar physics and code development
Impact This collaboration has resulted in more than 10 refereed research papers since its start. The collaboration has also had a very positive impact on the thesis work of several of our groups PhD students.
 
Description MSU Collaboration 
Organisation Montana State University
Department Department of Physics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research expertise, numerical codes
Collaborator Contribution Numerous collaborations on solar physics, in particular coronal heating, magnetic reconnection, but also other areas such as dynamo theory and global coronal magnetic fields
Impact Numerous joint publications, visits of PhD students
 
Description Max-Planck Lindau 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Numerous contributions to joint papers and conference contributions, provision of codes and expertise
Collaborator Contribution Provision of codes and expertis
Impact Joint papers on coronal magnetic field models and on magnetic reconnection and topology
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Catholic University of Louvain
Department Institute of Mathematics and Physics
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Eotvos Lorand University
Department Faculty of Science
Country Hungary 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Fluid Gravity Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Observatory of Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Ruhr University Bochum
Department Faculty of Physics and Astronomy
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation University of Catania
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Department Niels Bohr Institute
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Physics and Astronomy Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation University of Oslo
Department Department of Physics
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description SOLAIRE 
Organisation Utrecht University
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SOLAIRE is an EU Research Training Network and we have made numerous contributions to the research carried out within the network. We were also involved in the joint supervision f three SOLAIRE funded PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on code development
Impact Two PhDs completed, one thesis to be submitted A large number of research papers and conference contributions
Start Year 2007
 
Description Solar Flare Particle Acceleration 
Organisation Los Alamos National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provided expertise on theory of solar flare particle acceleration
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of expertise, one refereed publication so far
Impact One refereed publication
Start Year 2007
 
Description Solar Flare Particle Acceleration 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Goddard Space Flight Center
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provided expertise on theory of solar flare particle acceleration
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of expertise, one refereed publication so far
Impact One refereed publication
Start Year 2007
 
Description Solar Flare Particle Acceleration 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Physics and Astronomy Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provided expertise on theory of solar flare particle acceleration
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of expertise, one refereed publication so far
Impact One refereed publication
Start Year 2007
 
Description Careers Scotland Space School 
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 About 100 secondary school pupils (S4) attended the three talks, which where followed by discussions and questions

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Edinburgh International Science Festival 
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 Several talks and demonstration were held, which were attended by more than 100 hundred pupils of various age groups and members of the general public

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description International Heiiospheric Year Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over a hundred members of the public attended the series of three lectures, which where organised in St. Andrews, Glasgow and Dundee.

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008
 
Description Press Releases 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The group regularly issues press releases on interesting research through the University of St. Andrews Press Office.

Press releases are often followed by invitations to public talks, to schools etc
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Space School 
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 60 Primary 6 pupils attended the talk (plus a few teachers). The talk was followed by a quiz and we handed out materials (posters, stickers CD Roms, DVDs)

Many teachers asked about possibilities for incorporating materials provided into their curriculum
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description Sun-Trek 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Sun|trek is an educational website about the Sun, our star, and its effect on the Earth's environment. It has been produced by a team of solar research scientists, working with teachers and educators. It is closely linked to the UK school curriculum.

Stalls at Edinburgh Science Festival and Moray Science Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Talk Probus Club Tayport 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact About 30 retired business people attended the talk, followed by questions and discussion.

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009