Dynamics of Solar Magnetoconvection

Student: Cynthia Rudin

Advisor: Dr. Steven R. Lantz

Abstract: Magnetic fields influence the convection zone of the sun, producing interesting and complex fluid flow phenomena. Investigation of magnetic effects has been recently influenced by the availability of supercomputers for calculation and simulation purposes. Based upon selective approximations, we have enhanced a 2-dimensional model of the convection zone to incorporate the equations of magnetic flux into the equations of fluid flow. This model simulates convective magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flow in the form of magnetized thermal Rossby waves such as might be found inside the sun. These waves can be studied through visualizations of the magnetic, temperature and/or streamfunction fields. The resources we used included IBM RS/6000 workstations, the IBM SP2 supercomputer, and the PV Wave Advantage and IBM Data Explorer scientific visualization packages.

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Photo of SPUR '96 students

Picture credit: US. National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak