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Surprises in solar physics from the point of view of Newton and Maxwell

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 2:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Philip Judge

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Some might think that solar physics is a mature, perhaps even senile, scientific endeavor. Indeed, Leighton is famously credited with the statement "...if it were not for magnetic fields, the Sun would be as boring a star as most astronomers believe it to be." So I will, from first principles, ask the question: "Why would the Sun choose to do that?"

To find out what kind of thing "that" might be, and why the Sun is surprising from the point of view of elementary physical principles, I fear you'll have to come along to the colloquium. I'll highlight surprising solar and stellar observations and theoretical ideas, including the tragic case of the untimely demise of ideal magneto-hydrodynamics. Lastly, as a particularly stunning example of our ignorance of fundamental processes, I will discuss energy and particle transport in solar flares, as inferred using infrared spectropolarimetry from the NSO's Dunn Solar Telescope, a 50 year old precursor of DKIST.