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Identification and classification of coherent flow structures in the plasma of the Sun’s photosphere


Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

About the Project

The Sun is a star with a cyclic magnetic activity that can impact all the solar system. Thus, the solar magnetic field can interact with the Earth's magnetic field, permitting the entrance of energetic particles in the upper atmosphere, affecting technological devices, telecommunications and human health. Therefore, understanding and predicting the solar magnetic activity is crucial for the prevention of possible negative mpacts of this activity on life on Earth. That is the focus of Space Weather Research. So far, the mechanism of magnetic field production in the Sun is not fully understood, although several models based on dynamo theory have been proposed to describe the characteristic features of the solar magnetic field, such as the formation of sunspots and their 11 years cycle. These spots are a manifestation of strong concentrations of magnetic field lines that are twisted by vortical motions of the conducting ionized gas right below the solar surface. The formation of such vortices is due to the intrinsic turbulence generated by temperature differences in the solar interior. The solar active regions are places in the solar surface where giant tubular magnetic structures emanating from sunspots can interact and reconnect, releasing enormous amounts of energy and plasma into the interplanetary medium. When these plasma ejections reach the Earth, they can cause the so called geomagnetic storms. In this project we will develop novel numerical techniques to detect vortices in the Sun, and we expect to be able to anticipate their formation based on satellite images and simulations.


Funding Notes

This is a self-funded research project.
We require applicants to have either an undergraduate honours degree (2:1) or MSc (Merit or Distinction) in a relevant science or engineering subject from a reputable institution.
Prospective candidates for this project should have a strong background in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Physics or other related disciplines.
Full details of how to apply can be found at the following link:
View Website
Applicants can apply for a Scholarship from the University of Sheffield but should note that competition for these Scholarships is highly competitive: View Website

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