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Can Alfvénic (magnetic) waves heat the solar atmosphere?
If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Jaroslav Dudik.
The heating of the solar atmosphere to temperatures in excess of a million degrees has proved a stubborn problem for astrophysicist. While many heating scenarios have been suggested (e.g., nanoflares, waves), evidence for a dominant mechanism is still evasive. It is believed by many that the heating will occur on small spatial scales, so high resolution observations are required to observe the necessary processes. Over the last decade, the development of advanced observing instrumentation has allowed for the resolution of features on scales of 100 km. The resulting observations have revealed that the solar atmosphere is replete with wave phenomena, in particular Alfvénic waves. These magnetic waves are relatively difficult to dissipate and are able to transport energy efficiently through the solar atmosphere. I will talk about the most recent observations of the Alfvénic waves in the solar atmosphere and what they reveal about the possibilities for wave heating. To begin with though, I will provide a brief introduction to the Sun, solar magnetism and magneto-hydrodynamic wave theory.
This talk is part of the DAMTP Astrophysics Seminar series.
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