• KY16 9SS

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

My main research interests are in solar physics and the modelling of observations within the framework of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). In particular, my interests lie in the magnetic and thermal equilibrium structures and the stability of magnetic fields to ideal and resistive MHD instabilities.The stability of magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere differs from the laboratory situation because of steep density gradients that effectively anchor the magnetic footpoints. The inclusion of this line tying effect showed that sufficient magnetic energy could be stored in the magnetic field to explain the energy release in a solar flare. The numerical techniques involve solving coupled linear partial differential equation (PDE). Localised modes have been investigated using a Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin(WKB) approach. This stability work has resulted in a collaborative CASE award with the Culham Laboratory, Abingdon, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).Line tying strongly stabilises resistive unstabilities, for example the tearing mode, by coupling together the usual Fourier modes. This work is currently of great interest in explaining the energy release mechanism in solar flares. Coupling of magnetic effects to thermal effects, including thermal conduction and radiation, is being investigated to see how the basic instabilities are modified.

For further information, see the Solar and Magnetospheric MHD Theory Group

Industrial relevance

space research

Academic/Professional Qualification

Ph.D., University of St Andrews; B.Sc., University of St Andrews; Royal Astronomical Society

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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