The Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) at the University of Sheffield seeks to understand the nature of key plasma processes occurring in the solar interior, near-solar surface and the atmosphere of the Sun, from photosphere to corona, with particular attention devoted to the various coupling mechanisms of these apparently distinct regions. A large part of the energy flux released in the solar atmosphere travels into interplanetary space and impacts on the Earth's bow shock, energising the magnetosphere and having impact of our daily human life. The generation of energetic events in the solar interior and near solar sub-surface region and their propagation through the solar interior-atmosphere-space plasma system will be investigated by using mathematical modelling and the analysis of latest available satellite and ground-based datasets. Particular attention is paid to the wave coupling processes in this complex and very dynamic physical system.
Our mathematical approach involves rigorous analytical work and the implementation of parallel computing (GRID and CUDA-enabled technology) where results will be tested and verified by making and using space (SOHO, TRACE, Hinode, SDO) and ground-based (Swedish Solar Telescope, Dunn Solar Telescope) observations. The proposed programme involves five scientific projects: 1) Magnetic features and local helioseismology; 2) New generation solar magnetoseismology: Opening avenues in solar physics; 3) The driver of coronal physics: 3D forward modelling from low solar atmosphere to corona; 4) Advanced theory of transverse oscillations of coronal loops; and 5) Multi-scale theory and self-organisation of the Sun and other stars. The programme also has a vibrant and vital Visiting Researchers project.
We request funding to cover salaries of the RAs, appropriate costs for research leadership/management and research time for the Principal Investigator and four Co-Investigators, funding for a special project-related observational PhD studentship in order to train a future generation of experts in the field, funding for a modest but essential visitor programme, for travel & subsistence, computing equipment and consumables.
SP2RC's principal activity is to create knowledge through research. Through the transfer of this knowledge both internally and externally, we aim to improve our competitiveness and visibility through the enhanced use of knowledge, methods, and skills that reside within the Centre. SP2RC is made up of individuals (knowledge holders), each of whom has different capabilities and potentials - all of which are necessary to the success of the Centre as a whole.
£mpact through knowledge transfer in this particular Consolidated Grant (outlined in Appendix 7: Pathways to £mpact Plan) will take place whenever the findings, results, and expertise of the applicants and the named PDRA are disseminated locally or more widely. The dissemination takes place in different forms, including:
- Publishing material in refereed journals
- Presentations at national and international meetings and workshops
- Delivering seminars at national and international universities
- Presentation of specialised courses at various Summer Schools
The ideas, methods and results presented can either stimulate new concepts or be applied to new uses by other academics and experts in this area. Hence, in this CG we do not only acquire knowledge, but also proactively share it.
The dissemination of results also has a public interface. SP2RC members will also have impact through public outreach (see Appendix 7: Pathways to £mpact - Public Outreach Activities of SP2RC), through printed (national and international newspapers, e.g. UK, Europe (Armenia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, £taly, Romania, Russia), Brazil, £ndia, USA, etc.) and non-printed media channels (TV and local, national and international radio stations, space.com, yahoo.com). We are also engaged with the dissemination of core ideas into primary and secondary schools in Sheffield as part of National Science week (http://www.shef.ac.uk/scienceweek/schools.html) and through the Royal Observatory Greenwich (http://www.nmm.ac.uk/astronomy/galleries_astronomyQuestions.html). We also took part by invitation in one of the exhibits "Meet the scientist'' organised by Manchester Museum of Science and £ndustry. We are proud of taking part in these activities and are committed to continue to be engaged in them during the period of the Consolidated Grant.
Recently we have also been invited four times by SET for Britain and present our results (2010 and 2011) in a suitable format for a general audience at the House of Lords and Commons Marquee, Westminster, where representatives both of the House of Commons and House of Lords of the Parliament took an active part and have engaged with our solar research. We consider this a major success as part of our Pathways to £mpact and will continue to represent SP2RC's activities together with UK Solar Physics at future similar events.
£ndirectly, other important parts of outreach and knowledge transfer by us are both through the top class training that is offered to our PhD students and RAs, and collaborating with a large number of eminent international visitors with whom all SP2RC members have links. The Centre has a truly international character and the research we carry out transcends linguistic barriers. £t is highly anticipated that the named RA will take part in all of these carefully planned and designed activities during the run of the SG.
Methods and techniques relevant to our research proposed in this CG can be applied to some areas of industry, such as fusion reactor, tokamak, pattern recognition, etc. Whilst we are not directly working with any companies at present on the commercialisation of this research, it is highly hoped that through the dissemination and outreach activities we are carrying out that applications for our knowledge could be found in industry.