Solar-Terrestrial Theory Group
This group concentrates on theoretical studies related to the sun, with emphasis on the solar corona, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the heliosphere. Major research areas include particle acceleration and transport throughout the heliosphere, and the heating and acceleration of the solar plasma. The group seeks to understand basic plasma physical processes such as magnetic reconnection, the nonlinear evolution of waves, and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, and the roles those processes play in observed solar phenomena.
Professors: Marty Lee, Benjamin Chandran, Terry Forbes, Phil Isenberg, Bernie Vasquez, Sergei Markovskii and Joe Hollweg (emeritus)
Theoretical Plasma and Space Physics
The theoretical plasma physics group uses analytical and numerical methods to address a wide spectrum of problems of relevance to space, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas. Germaschewski is involved in fundamental research on magnetic reconnection with applications to magnetospheric substorms, solar coronal heating and flares, and magnetic island dynamics in fusion plasmas. Raeder's research focuses on the global modeling of Earth's magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere system to study the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's space environment. Besides the basic research aspect, that is, understanding the plasma interaction of planetary magnetospheres, this research has practical applications in the area of space weather effects, that is, harmful effects on technological systems, for example, satellites or power grids.
Professors: Jimmy Raeder and Kai Germaschewski