A Rolling Grant in Astrophysical Fluids

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 and the thermal structure of neutron stars (5) The dynamics of rapidly-rotating stars. (6) The origin of turbulence and the the role of magnetic fields in accretion disks.

Publications

10 25 50

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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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Bowker J (2014) Incorporating velocity shear into the magneto-Boussinesq approximation in Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

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Brummell N (2010) Dynamo efficiency in compressible convective dynamos with and without penetration in Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

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Feudel F (2011) Convection patterns in a spherical fluid shell. in Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

 
Description We have advanced our understanding of the nature of the turbulent motions inside the Sun, and, in particular, how these are influence by the Sun's strong magnetic field.
Exploitation Route We are actively working on this topic, exploring in more depth the nature of the solar tachocline, a region of strong shear located at depth in the Sun, and believed to be instrumental in the generation of the Sun's magnetic field.
Sectors Other

 
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 Brown 
Organisation Brunel University London
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint research into astrophysical fluid dynamics
Collaborator Contribution Joint research into astrophysical fluid dynamics.
Impact A joint research paper has been published
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 Collaborative research projects.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research projects.
Impact Several joint papers.
 
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 in astrophysical fluid dynamics
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research into astrophysical fluid dynamics
Impact Joint research papers
 
Description Chicago 
Organisation University of Chicago
Department Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research collaboration in astrophysical fluid dynamics.
Collaborator Contribution Joint research papers
Impact Joint papers on astrophysical fluid dynamics.
 
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 Daejeon 
Organisation National Fusion Research Institute
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research project.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research project.
Impact Research papers.
Start Year 2007
 
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 Grenoble 
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 One of the investigators will give a Public Lecture in Grenoble on Solar Physics.

Yet to take place.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
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 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