[Cymraeg]

Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students


Project description

Rotational motions of solar filaments/prominences

(supervisor: Xing Li)

Nature of project: data analysis, data analysis

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Filaments and prominences can often be very stable in the solar corona and stay in their positions for long time (from days to months). However, high resolution observations show that they are always dynamic in nature. The eruption of filaments can lead to coronal mass ejections. It is recently discovered that some filaments/prominences can have tonado type behaviour. There are different explanations for these tornado events (expansion of helical magnetic structures or slow magnetosonic waves into coronal cavities). The goal of the project is to survey the Solar Dynamic Observatory extreme ultraviolet images and videos to find this kind of rotational motions in prominences and reach your own conclusion about the nature of such rotational motions.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
critical review on the theories of filament/prominence formation.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: The project is also suitable for year 4 if it is chosen only for project dissertation (phm59). For an extended year 4 project (phm58), data analysis plus an element of simulation (use simple geometric projection to simulate the observed phenomenon) may be needed.

Please speak to Xing Li if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Mackay, D. H., Karpen, J. T., Ballester, J. L., Schmieder, B., & Aulanier, G. 2010, Space Sci. Rev., 151, 333
  2. Liggett, M., & Zirin, H. 1984, Sol. Phys., 91, 259
  3. Li, X. et al., The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 752:L22 (5pp), 2012

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

The project has been run a few times.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
Initial rough idea of solar filaments/prominencesend of October
Learn how to use solarsoft and IDL to handle SDO imagesChristmas
Find examples of rotational motions.end of February
Have detail analysis/reasoning about the nature of rotational motions in filamentsEaster