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PX420 Solar Magnetohydrodynamics

The moodle page is

Valery Nakariakov

The solar corona observed in EUV from space with SOHO/EIT.


To review the basic physics underlying the structure and the dynamics of the sun, to provide a background in the description of physical processes in the Sun in terms of magnetohydrodynamics and to show the results of recent observations.


At the end of this module you should:

  • Know the structure of the Sun and the main features and phenomena observed on the solar surface and in the solar atmosphere
  • Understand the basic physical processes at work in the sun
  • Be able to describe the basic dynamic processes operating in the Sun, in terms of MHD


  1. An outline of observational properties ranging from the solar interior ot the Sun's outer atmosphere
  2. Theoretical aspects of solar magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  3. Magnetic equilibria. Stratification. Force-free magnetic fields. Magnetic arcades, prominences, suspots, intense flux tubes.
  4. MHD Waves. Helioseismology.
  5. Solar flares. Heating of the solar corona. Coronal mass ejections and space weather.

Commitment: 15 Lectures

Assessment: 1.5 hour examination

Recommended Texts:

Priest, E.R., Solar Magnetohydrodynamics, Reidel, 1982

Priest, E.R., Magnetohydrodynamics of the Sun, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Golub, L. and Pasachoff, J.M., Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun, Harvard University Press, 2001

Aschwanden, M.J., Physics of the Solar Corona, Springer-Praxis 2004.

Leads from: PX264 Introduction to Fluids and PX392 Plasma Electrodynamics