Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Environment
The UK has a vibrant solar system science community that is highly regarded internationally. To maintain and enhance this position the UK must not just continue to make major discoveries and provide critical insight into key solar system science problems but also train new solar system scientists. The solar system is accessible to highly detailed remote sensing and a variety of unique in-situ measurements. Thus, critical understanding of fundamental cross‐scale physical processes, such as dynamo theory, particle acceleration, reconnection, shocks, and plasma turbulence, can be enhanced by confronting theoretical and numerical concepts with detailed observations. This allows studies of a rich sample of cross-scale coupling processes where microphysical structures can derive significant system-wide effects. Studies of small bodies together with the atmospheres of other planets and moons shed light on the origin of the Solar System itself. The knowledge gained from such research has significant application to other STFC science areas, and indeed the science of other research councils. Furthermore, the question of the origins of life in the solar system, as well as the current state of our local space environment have much broader cultural and intellectual interest than to pure science alone. Thus, solar system science can play an important role in promoting STFC’s science and society strategy.
STFC Courses in Solar System Plasmas have played an important part in the early training of solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric and ionospheric physicists since the 1980s. The Introductory course, as well as providing a grounding in the theory and the most recent observations relevant to their fields, allows new PhD students and other participants to interact scientifically with each other and with the lecturers, thus strengthening the field as a whole – particularly in the UK.
We wish to continue this excellent tradition by hosting the next Introductory Summer School in Solar System Plasma Physics at the Northumbria University.
The course intends to provide a broad introduction into solar system plasma physics. Previous experience shows that the new PhD students attending the course have varying backgrounds and therefore the course will provide an introduction into plasma physics and basic MHD as well as covering a combination of the key theoretical and observational issues relevant to the solar system plasmas. Our intention is to blend experienced lecturers from previous summer schools with fresh talent from around the UK. As has become the norm, we will distribute both electronic and paper copies of the lecture notes to the students.
Course Director: Professor Valentina Zharkova