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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 & PHAS1224).

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 meteorology.


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 magnetic cycle;
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 sam@mssl.ucl.ac.uk.

This page last modified 6 July 2009 by www@mssl.ucl.ac.uk

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