Video From Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Bill Abbett - Understanding our Dynamic, Magnetically Active Star
Department of Physics
370 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Understanding solar activity --- and in particular, how magnetic flux and energy emerges from the Sun's turbulent interior (where it is generated) into the solar corona --- is of fundamental importance to our efforts to better predict and mitigate potentially damaging solar storms here at earth. The Sun's dynamic magnetic field plays an integral role in almost all aspects of observed activity and is the source of energy for spectacular eruptive events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. With a wealth of current and historical data from ground and space-based observatories, it is evident that there are distinct, long-term patterns to the Sun's activity. Yet observed variations of these global patterns are incredibly complex and interconnected, and occur over a vast range of spatial and temporal scales. Here, I will present a brief overview of our current understanding of magnetic activity on the Sun, describe efforts to incorporate data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory into multi-scale models of solar activity, and introduce recent projects designed to address long-standing, unsolved problems in the field of solar and heliospheric physics.