UK APAP Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

Plasmas permeate our Universe, being present in stellar atmospheres, interstellar gas
clouds in galaxies, planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, black hole accretion disks, and so on.
Spectroscopy of all these objects has shown a richness of information, in particular in the spectral
lines that are emitted by the ions that are present in the plasmas.
In recent years, an overwhelming amount of XUV spectroscopic data have been obtained from the satellite missions
such as SOHO, Hinode, STEREO, SDO (solar) and Chandra, XMM-Newton, HST, FUSE (non-solar).
The state of matter in each object --- the distribution of temperature and density, chemical composition,
flow velocities --- can be determined through diagnostic analysis of spectral data in which models,
incorporating the full physics of the object, confront the observations.
This information is fundamental for our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe.

Collisions of electrons and photons with atoms, ions and molecules play a fundamental role in
characterizing astrophysical plasmas, and it is therefore necessary that accurate atomic data are calculated.
It might be surprising, but a large fraction of the spectra produced by ions is still unexplored.
Large discrepancies between observations and theory are also still present.
In recent years, we have shown the need to perform accurate calculations of electron-ion
collisions for individual ions, in order to solve the large, long-standing discrepancies between observed
and calculated line intensities in collisional (astrophysical and laboratory) plasmas.

We propose a series of calculations which will enable us to interpret spectral data from these satellites
which will further our understanding of the solar corona, stellar atmospheres, supernova remnants, nebulae and stars.
With this proposal, we aim to strengthen the collaboration between experimental, observational and
theoretical research. Our work will also impact upon the magnetic fusion program and its quest for a
safe, reliable and environmentally friendly energy source.

Planned Impact

The International effort to develop magnetic fusion as a safe, reliable and environmentally
friendly source of energy will be a key beneficiary of this work. Magnetic fusion laboratories
around the world (including JET/Culham in the UK) and especially the flagship ITER program at
Cadarache in France, make use of spectroscopic diagnostics to maximize their control of the plasma.
The atomic data that we produce will be incorporated into the main fusion modelling package (ADAS) used by
these laboratories. ADAS was and is developed and maintained by researchers at the University of
Strathclyde.

Publications

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Allison Hayley J. (2018) Determination of the Equatorial Electron Differential Flux From Observations at Low Earth Orbit in Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics)

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Badnell N (2016) Atomic processes for astrophysical plasmas in Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

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Del Zanna G (2014) Atomic data for astrophysics: improved collision strengths for Fe viii in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Del Zanna G (2013) Spectral diagnostics with the SDO EVE flare lines in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Del Zanna G (2015) CHIANTI - An atomic database for emission lines. Version 8 in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Del Zanna G (2018) Solar Coronal Lines in the Visible and Infrared: A Rough Guide in The Astrophysical Journal

 
Description Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Grants
Amount $500,000 (USD)
Organisation National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2017
 
Description Consolidated grant
Amount £458,051 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R000743/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description Consolidated grant
Amount £248,560 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/P000665/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2020
 
Title CHIANTI - Atomic Database 
Description CHIANTI is an atomic database developed by the Atomic Astrophysics research group at DAMTP, funded by STFC. It is now universally used by the solar physics community for the analysis of solar spectra, and is also widely used in the astrophysical community. Giulio Del Zanna is a key member of the CHIANTI team, and has led several CHIANTI papers and releases. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact CHIANTI has facilitated the analysis of solar spectra leading to over 3350 citations. 
URL http://www.chiantidatabase.org/
 
Title APAP 
Description Atomic Data for Astrophysics 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Improved diagnostic modelling of astrophysical and magnetic fusion plasmas. 
URL http://www.apap-network.org/
 
Title CHIANTI database v.8 
Description The culmination of nearly 6 years of work was the v.8 CHIANTI database, where the models for the solar spectral lines important for irradiance were updated. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The database is used world-wide, has about 3000 direct citations, and about 300 indirect ones /year. 
URL http://chiantidatabase.org
 
Description APAP-Network Ref: PP/E001254/1 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have done atomic physics calculations, have benchmarked them against experimental data, and used them for the analysis of spectra from stellar coronae. I have also distributed the atomic data within CHIANTI and VAMDC (an EU FP7 network).
Collaborator Contribution Prof. N.R.Badnell (PI of the grant,University of Strathclyde) has developed and mantained the codes used for atomic physics calculations, and I have collaborated with him on various projects.
Impact In the Jan 2006 - Dec 2010 timeframe the APAP team published 101 refereed papers. They are all highest-quality papers, describing atomic data which are used world-wide by almost all atomic databases and modelling codes, and are directly or indirectly cited by hundreds of refereed papers per year.
Start Year 2008
 
Description Associated scientist with CfA on various missions/proposals 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribute to various proposals for space missions (COSIE, MAGIXS), to the analysis of current missions (IRIS). Also contributed to AIRSPEC, an new infrared spectrometer, and DKIST, a ground-based solar telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Provide access to data and resources.
Impact Various research papers.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Co-I of Hinode EIS team 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Space and Climate Physics (MSSL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Over the years we have contributed to the Hinode EIS team in proposing observations, providing atomic data, instrument calibration, and helping young researchers into the use of the instrument.
Collaborator Contribution This is a large international collaboration. MSSL is the leading institute that has provided most of the hardware.
Impact A large number of papers and conferences.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Co-I of Solar Orbiter instruments 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department RAL Space
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am co-I of the Solar Orbiter SPICE and EUI. I am . associated scientist of the SOlar Orbiter METIS instrument. I am contributing in refining the best science, calibration and operating modes.
Collaborator Contribution Building instruments, calibration, on-board software
Impact Most of the outcomes will come in the future. A few papers are in progress.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Co-I of Solar Orbiter instruments 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Space and Climate Physics (MSSL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am co-I of the Solar Orbiter SPICE and EUI. I am . associated scientist of the SOlar Orbiter METIS instrument. I am contributing in refining the best science, calibration and operating modes.
Collaborator Contribution Building instruments, calibration, on-board software
Impact Most of the outcomes will come in the future. A few papers are in progress.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Collaboration with Dr. Dudik on Non-Maxwellians 
Organisation Astronomical Institute Czech Republic
Country Czech Republic 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have an ongoing collaboration with Dr J. Dudik (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences), a former RS Newton International Fellow at DAMTP (2013--2015), on developing modelling to search for spectroscopic signatures of non-Maxwellian electrons in the solar corona. We have provided the atomic data, mostly from the results of the APAP grants, and knowledge of spectral observations.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Dudik has contributed in coordinating new observations and writing scientific papers.
Impact Several scientific papers have been published, and others are forthcoming.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Collaboration with PRL, India 
Organisation Physical Research Laboratory
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The contributions will be on the analysis and atomic data for the upcoming Indian space X-ray spectrometer, to be launched in 2018.
Collaborator Contribution Provide access to the observations.
Impact not yet.
Start Year 2017
 
Description ISSI team meeting (2015-2018) on uncertainties in atomic data 
Organisation United States Naval Research Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is an international collaboration among different institutes. Del Zanna contributed atomic data and diagnostics, and developed a model to calculate uncertainties for Fe XIII.
Collaborator Contribution Other partners contributed on data analysis and statistical analysis.
Impact A scientific paper is submitted and one is in preparation.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ISSI team meeting (2018-2019) on solar abundances - Solar Orbiter 
Organisation University of Orsay
Department Space Astrophysics Institute
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is an international collaboration with several researchers/institutes, to study how to link in-situ with remote-sensing observations with Solar Orbiter. I contributed in terms of atomic data, diagnostics, and a specific project on active regions.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner will contribute on the basis of their expertise.
Impact The collaboration only started.
Start Year 2018
 
Description ISSI team meeting on non-equilibrium plasma 
Organisation Astronomical Institute Czech Republic
Country Czech Republic 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is an international collaboration among experts on diagnostics of non-equilibrium plasma. Del Zanna and Mason contributed in terms of atomic data and diagnostics, and wrote part of a long review.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner contributed to the review.
Impact Dudik et al., Sol. Phys., 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s11207-017-1125-0
Start Year 2012