Authors Name: 
Aaron Reid
Queen's University Belfast
Mathematics & Physics
Award winner

Solar Vortices

Solar vortices are turbulent systems created by interaction of hydrodynamic flow with large magnetic fields in the convective solar photosphere. It is thought that these vortices could supply the upper solar atmosphere with energy, heating the corona, and fuelling filaments and coronal mass ejections. This experiment uses MuRAM code to simulate the solar photosphere and upper portion of the convective zone by using plasma fluid theory. The interaction of flows with magnetic fields in the photosphere produces the vortices seen in observations and these are studied to show that vortices cause vertical energy flows in the solar photosphere, and there exists fast moving magnetic waves within the vortices which could be a mechanism for the energy flow. Horizontal wave-motion in vortices is also documented as slow magneto-acoustic modes.