Nature of project: data analysis, theory
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
Sunspots are manifestation of strong magnetic field coming up from within the Sun’s interior and appear as dark regions on the surface. Sunspots, often the size of the earth or larger, are dark because they are cooler than their surroundings. They appear alone or in small groups called magnetic active regions and have lifetimes between several hours and weeks. The aim of this project is to measure the sunspot magnetic field using polarized states of light described by the Stokes profiles (I, Q, U, V ) in the magnetically sensitive spectral lines. The student will use high-resolution spectropolarimetric data from the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope. The data will be used for calculation of a spatially averaged magnetic field strength of the sunspot using weak-field/strong-field approximation or/and center of gravity methods.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
The main way to develop this project further is to measure magnetic field for spatially resolved sunspot features, such as umbra, penumbra, Lightbridge, and investigate time evolution of the sunspot field.
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: For a 4th year project, student can use multi wavelength data to investigate sunspot field at different height in the solar atmosphere.
Please speak to David Kuridze (dak21) if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
Fully processed imaging spectropolarimetric data and assistance how to analyse it will be provided. IDL/Python training will be provided by the supervisor.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|Review of mathematical formalism (Stokes formalism) of polarization of light||end of October|
|Learning how to open/load the data in IDL/Python and develop the code||Christmas|
|Fitting the spectropolarimetric profiles||end of February|
|Determine the magnetic field||Easter|