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School of Physics and Astronomy

Astronomy Unit Seminar - The solar wind: a multi-scale astrophysical plasma

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23 November 2018

Time: 2:30 - 4:30pm
Speaker: Daniel Verscharen
Venue: G. O. Jones Building, Room 610

The solar wind is a magnetised astrophysical plasma and as such exhibits collective behaviour associated with its characteristic spatial and temporal plasma scales. The characteristic length scales include the size of the heliosphere, the collisional mean free paths of all species, their inertial lengths, their gyration radii, and their Debye lengths. The characteristic timescales include the expansion time, the collision times, and the periods associated with gyration, waves/turbulence, and oscillations. I will present past and present research into the multi-scale nature of the solar wind based on in-situ spacecraft measurements and plasma theory. I will demonstrate how couplings of processes across scales are important for the global dynamics and thermodynamics of astrophysical plasmas.