Solar Physics PHAS4314(ASTR4C14)/SS6
This course consists of 30 lectures covering the solar interior to the solar atmosphere. The lecturers
are Prof. K.J.H. Phillips and Dr. L. van Driel-Gesztelyi.
Students are expected to have covered basic physics and maths to 2nd
year undergraduate level, particularly mathematical methods for physics,
electromagnetism, quantum physics, and waves optics & acoustics (e.g.
the UCL courses PHAS1245, PHAS1246, PHAS2246, PHAS2201, PHAS2222 &
Aims of the Course
The aims of this course are that students should learn about:
- 1. the place of the Sun in the evolutionary progress of stars;
- 2. the internal structure of the Sun;
- 3. its energy source;
- 4. its magnetic fields and activity cycle;
- 5. its extended atmosphere;
- 6. the solar wind;
- 7. the nature of the Heliosphere.
The course should be helpful for students wishing to proceed to a PhD in Astronomy or Astrophysics.
It also provides a useful background for people seeking careers in Geophysics-related industries, and
On completion of this course, students should be able to:
- 1. explain the past and likely future evolution of the Sun as a star;
- 2. enumerate the nuclear reactions that generate the Sun's energy;
- 3. explain the modes of energy transport within the Sun ;
- 4. describe the Standard Model of the solar interior;
- 5. explain the solar neutrino problem and give an account of its likely resolution;
- 6. describe the techniques of Helioseismology and results obtained;
- 7. discuss the nature of the solar plasma in relation to magnetic fields ;
- 8. explain Solar Activity - its manifestations and evolution and the dynamo theory of the solar
- 9. describe the solar atmosphere, Chromosphere, Transition Region and Corona;
- 10. explain current ideas of how the atmosphere is heated to very high temperatures ;
- 11. describe each region of the atmosphere in detail;
- 12. explain the relationship between coronal holes and the solar wind;
- 13. derive and explain a model of the solar wind;
- 14. indicate the nature of the Heliosphere and how it is defined by the solar wind;
- 15. describe Solar Flares and the related models based on magnetic reconnection;
- 16. explain Coronal Mass Ejections and indicate possible models for their origin.
For more information please contact Dr. Sarah Matthews email@example.com.
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