The Solar Wind Group at the
University of Wales, Aberystwyth is a newly established group in the Department
of Physics and forms an important part of the research activity of the
Department of Physics, graded 4 in the last two UK Research Assessment Exercise.
The members of the group (Prof. Shadia Habbal, Dr. Xing Li, Dr. Lorraine
Allen) previously were affiliated with Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics and joined the group in the past few years.
solar physics and solar wind group at Aberystwyth is involved in complementing
theoretical investigations of the acceleration of the solar wind with
observations of the inner corona. Remote sensing coronal
observations from coronagraphs, eclipses and SOHO, together with interplanetary
measurements in and out of the ecliptic, are used to map the source regions of
the fast and slow solar wind. Plasma
parameters can be determined from coronal spectral line measurements. Coronal
spectral lines are produced by ions in the extended corona which resonantly
scatter the radiation from the solar disk, or by electron collisional
excitation. From spectral line observations, ion temperatures, outflow
velocities and wave activities can be derived.
Our unique approach is to use solar
wind models developed in this group to compare with these observations. Some
very important information, which is not immediately available from data, can be
obtained. For instance, we used this technique to discover that that oxygen ions
are already much faster than protons at three solar radii.
investigations of coronal expansion and solar wind acceleration involve
understanding the behavior of the plasma during the transition from the Coulomb
collision-dominated region to the collisionless region. In
recent years, the group has taken a leading role in the development of
multi-fluid hydrodynamic solar wind models. Ion cyclotron waves have been
studied in these models to explore their interaction with plasma species in the
solar wind. These waves have been found to be able to strongly shape the
temperature anisotropy of the solar wind ions. Both 1D fluid models and 2D
global MHD models have been developed in this group to study the complex nature
of the coronal heating and solar wind acceleration processes.
|Home||Introduction||Members||Solar Physics||Plasma physics||Models||Publications|