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Rebecca White

Position: CFSA PhD Student

Supervisor: Erwin Verwichte

Topic: Transverse waves in the Solar Corona

Funding: STFC

Background: MPhys (University of Warwick) 06 - 10

Click here to read an RAS press release of some of my recent work showing the first evidence of loop oscillations that are driven directly by magnetic reconnection processes.

Click here to read my UKSP nugget entitled 'Transverse coronal loop oscillations seen by AIA/SDO' which discusses some of my current research into probing the local coronal plasma with the diagnostic power of fast kink waves.

Project outline

The corona is the outer hottest part of the solar atmosphere and is dominated by magnetic forces. It is a highly dynamic plasma environment of which solar flares and coronal mass ejections are the largest and most energetic manifestations. Such events are often associated with the excitation of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves including transverse loop oscillations. This type of wave has received much attention in the past decade because its diagnostic power of the coronal magnetic and density structuring. However, many questions still remain.

The recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) provides continuous observation of the full solar corona in unprecedented temporal and spatial detail in a range of plasma temperature as well as detailed photospheric magnetic maps. In this project, SDO data will be exploited for the detailed study of transverse waves and to address questions on the nature and selectivity of wave excitation (e.g. the existence of continuous drivers of low-amplitude transverse waves), the role of temperature structuring (e.g. condensation flows), the seismology of active regions using oscillations in loops of varying height in the atmosphere and comparison with magnetic extrapolation models, the nature of associated intensity oscillations, the prevalence of higher harmonics in loop oscillations.

The project will make use of and further develop in-house analysis tools (written in IDL) for the detection and characterisation of waves in imaging data. Complimentary imaging and spectral data instruments onboard STEREO and Hinode will be included when available. Furthermore, extrapolation tools (potential, force-free) will be employed for the reconstruction of the coronal magnetic topology. It is planned to follow up first observational studies with theoretical modelling of found new phenomena, which will include numerical simulations of waves in extended coronal loop models using the in-house MHD code Lare.

Courses attended during my phd

PL1: Waves in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas

MM1: Time Series Analysis

CY905: Computational PDE's (Numerics)

STFC Advanced Summer School in Solar Physics

AS1: An introduction to scientific computing with Python



Contact details

Centre for Fusion, Space & Astrophysics
Department of Physics
University of Warwick
United Kingdom

Office: PS 1.26

Email: r.s.white [at]

Tel: +44(0)24765 28407