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AM Seminar: Toward Large-scale Assimilative Models of Solar Magnetic Activity

Speaker Name: 
William Abbett
Speaker Title: 
Research Physicist and Senior Fellow
Speaker Organization: 
Space Sciences Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley
Start Time: 
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 4:00pm
End Time: 
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 5:05pm
Physical Sciences 114
Abhishek Halder


How magnetic energy and flux emerges from the turbulent convective interior of the Sun into the solar atmosphere is of great importance to a number of challenging problems in solar and heliospheric physics. With the wealth of data from space and ground-based observatories, it is evident that solar magnetic fields span the entirety of the convection zone-to-corona system, and do not exist in isolation in a localized region, or interact only over a prescribed spatial scale. The challenge of modeling this system in its entirety is that the solar magnetic field not only spans multiple scales, but also regions whose physical conditions vary dramatically. In this brief overview, I will summarize our group's recent progress in the effort to dynamically model the Sun's upper convection zone-to-corona system over large spatial scales and different physical regimes, the technical challenges and numerical techniques we employ to address this challenging multi-scale problem, and our latest efforts to assimilate remote-sensing observations of solar magnetic fields into physics-based numerical models of the solar atmosphere.


Dr. William P. Abbett is a Research Physicist and Senior Fellow at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, at Berkeley.  He has a variety of research interests in the field of astrophysics, including the formation and evolution of magnetic fields in the convective interior of the Sun and other stars; the dynamic connection between magnetic fields existing below the visible surface of the Sun and those observed in the solar corona; the physics of magnetically driven eruptions in the solar corona; and the transport of radiation in the optically-thick layers of stellar atmospheres during flares. Dr. Abbett developed one of the first parallel radiative-magnetohydrodynamic codes capable of modeling the physically-distinct layers of the Sun's upper convection zone, photosphere, chromoshere, transition region, and low corona within a single computational domain.  With the solar group at SSL, he is currently developing techniques to assimilate remote sensing observations into numerical models of the solar atmosphere in order to improve the predictive capability of physics-based models of solar activity.

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