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Numerical models for solar partially-ionised plasmas (RDF16-R/MIS/SHELYAG)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr S Shelyag  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Sun supports life on Earth and has a huge impact on human civilisation. Solar activity, revealing itself as coronal mass ejections and flares reaching the terrestrial magnetosphere, can damage power lines, and disrupt communications and navigation systems. Last but not least, due to the proximity of the Sun to Earth, the Sun is a natural physical laboratory allowing us to study, develop and test our theories of stellar structure, activity and evolution, and of fundamental plasma physics. One of the currently unsolved problems in solar physics is the nature of the energetic connection between the solar interior and the outer solar atmosphere.

In the recent years, the importance of partial ionisation for the energy balance in solar atmospheric plasma has been realised. It was shown that due to partial ionisation effects, dissipation of dynamic currents, produced by magnetic oscillations in the solar atmosphere, releases significant amount of thermal energy in the solar chromospheric plasma. This potentially provides a way to ultimately solve the problem of solar chromospheric heating.

Understanding the dynamics of the solar atmosphere is tremendously difficult. The large range of parameters, enormous physical scales and three-dimensional effects involved make analytical studies practically impossible. Therefore, the main means for theoretical studies of the physical processes in the solar atmosphere is computational magneto-hydrodynamic modelling. A number of numerical tools are currently being developed. You will be involved in development, improvement and utilisation of these numerical tools in solar physics.

Your project will address one or more of the following research topics:

* improvement of the numerical scheme and boundary conditions

* development, implementation and testing of two-fluid magnetohydrodynamic code

* computational study of the energy transport in magnetised partially-ionised solar atmosphere

The project requires some knowledge in programming and applied mathematics.

Please note eligibility requirement:

* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. normally an Honours Degree: 1st or 2:1 (or equivalent) or possession of a Masters degree, with merit (or equivalent study at postgraduate level). Applicants may also be accepted on the basis of relevant and substantial practitioner/professional experience.

* Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.

Deadline for applications: 1 November 2016
Start date: March 2017

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (in 2016/17 this is £14,296 pa) and fees (Home/EU £4,350 / International £13,000).


Shelyag, S., Khomenko, E., de Vicente, A., Przybylski, D. ApJL, accepted, 2016

Arber, T.D., Brady, C.S., Shelyag, S. accepted, ApJ, 2016

Shelyag, S., Cally, P.S., Reid, A., Mathioudakis, M. ApJL, 776L, 4, 2013
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