Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Alan Title
Jan 30, 2007
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
|Where||Hewlett Bldg., Rm. 201|
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Dr. Alan Title is a Senior Fellow at the Lockheed Martin Advance Technology Center and a Consulting Professor of Physics at Stanford University. He has an A.B in Mathematics from UCLA and a Ph.D in Physics from Caltech. His major research interest is the evolution of the Sun’s magnetic fields from their origins in the convection zone to their connection to the heliosphere. Dr. Title is the Principal Investigator for the TRACE SMEX, the Focal Plane Package on Solar B, and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly for the Solar Dynamics Observatory. He is a member of the National Academies of Science and of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics. Currently he chairs the Heliophysics Subcommittee of the NASA NAC.
The past decade has seen a wealth of new data from ground and space based Solar observatories. 24/7 monitoring of the full Sun has allowed helioseismologists to determine the temperature, density, equation of state of the solar interior, and velocity structure of the solar interior with high precision. Using tomographic techniques the subsurface layers and the magnetic structures on the backside of the Sun can be imaged. New adaptive mirrors and post processing techniques have allowed 0.1 arc second imaging with Sthrel ratios of 0.9 over fields of view of 60 arc seconds. As a result, the temperature structure of the photosphere and chromosphere are much better understood. These observations are critical to understanding how the surface magnetic fields are connected to the transition region and corona. Observations of the corona have given insights into the processes of scale mixing whereby magnetic fields on smaller scales interact with and deliver energy to magnetic structures on much larger scales. It now appears that much, if not most, of the heating of the corona is due to magnetic fields that are generated by local dynamo processes. Because most of the magnetic field above a solar radius from the surface is well approximated by potential field, many of the large scale interactions with the heliosphere can be predicted. Much of the advances have occurred as a direct result of the international solar community almost universally waiving proprietary rights to both ground and space based data.