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Professor Valentina Zharkova

Professor of Mathematics

Department: Mathematics Physics and Electrical Engineering

EE Valentina Zharkova Staffprofile 255I am a Professor in Mathematics at Northumbria University. I have BSc/MSc in Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, certificate in project management.

I graduated from the National University of Kyiv, Ukraine in 1975 with a BSc/M.Sc. first class with distinction degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics (joint honours). In 19I75-1978 worked as Junior researcher at Physics and Applied Maths Department, then moved to the Solar Division of the Main Astronomical Observatory, Kyiv, Ukraine for my Ph.D. studies in Applied Mathematics/Solar Theory. After successfully defending my thesis in non-LTE radiative transfer entitled “Hydrogen emission in quiescent solar prominences with filamentary structure", I worked at Space Science Laboratory, Physics Department, National University of Kyiv as junior researcher, lecturer/researcher senior lecturer/senior researcher (1978-1994). In 1992 I joined the Astronomy Group of Glasgow University as the Senior Royal Society visitor, then a Research Fellow (1993-1999). In 2000 I became a Lecturer at the University of Bradford, in 2002 I was appointed to a Reader and in 2005 to a Professor in Applied Mathematics. From September 2013 I joined the Northumbria University as a Professor in Mathematics.

0191 243 7943



Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I have a wide range of research interests in solar and solar-terrestrial plasma physics, solar/medical imaging and pattern recognition/ classification. In general, I am interested in:

Solutions of non-linear partial differential equations (PDEs): 
- particle motion in 3D magnetic field topology
- Fokker-Planck equations for particle precipitation 
- radiative transfer PDEs for multi-level atoms

Solutions of systems of non-linear PDEs: 
- two fluid hydrodynamics, 
- multi-elements radiative transfer,
- Particle-in-Cell (PIC) (joint solutions motion PDE with Maxwell equations)

- Magnetic Topology during magnetic reconnection
- Impact Excitation/Ionisation by thermal and non-thermal electrons/protons
- Automated pattern recognition on full disk solar images
- Artificial Intelligence Methods
- Solar activity patterns derived from long series (>36 years) of full disk magnetograms
- Classification of solar activity patterns with Artificial Intelligence methods (ANN, MCMC etc.)
- Interpretation of solar activity patterns with Parker’s two layer solar dynamo model
- Pattern recognition and classification in EGSO (EU funded project) - Solar Feature Catalogues

More information on the research carried by Prof. Zharkova can be found here.

Sponsors and Collaborators

I am a member of London Mathematical Society (LMS), European Mathematical Society (EMS), European Physics Society (EPS), Fellow of Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), International Astronomical Union (IAU) and COSPAR (Committee on Space Research).

Key Publications


V.V.Zharkova,  Particle kinetics and dynamics in flaring atmospheres ( monograph), by Wiley and Sons, July 2012, 455 pp (monograph

V.V.Zharkova and L.Jain (eds), INTELLIGENT PARADIGMS OF FEATURE RECOGNITION IN ASTROPHYSICAL AND MEDICAL IMAGES, Studies in Computational Intelligence, v46, , Springer Verlag, Berlin , Heidelberg, 2007, 394pp .

Key peer-reviewed journal papers in high impact journals:

Zharkova V.V. and Khabarova O.V. (2012)
Particle Dynamics in the Reconnecting Heliospheric Current Sheet: Solar Wind Data versus Three-dimensional Particle-in-cell Simulations, Astrophysical Journal, 752, 35

Zharkova, V., Shepherd S. and Zharkov S., (2012) Principal Component Analysis of Background and Sunspot Magnetic Field Variations During Solar Cycles 21-23, 2012, MNRAS,  424, 2943  

Zharkova V.V., Meshalkina N.A., Kashapova L.K., Kuznetsov A.V. and Altyntsev A.T. (2011): "Diagnostics of electron beam properties from the simultaneous HXR and MW emission observed from the flare of 10 March 2001", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 532, 17

  • Zharkova V.V. and Siversky T.V. (2011), The Effects of Electron-beam-induced Electric Field on the Generation of Langmuir Turbulence in Flaring Atmospheres, Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 733, Issue 1, 33,

• Zharkova V.V., K. Arzner, A. O. Benz, P.,Browning, C. Dauphin, A. G. Emslie, L., Fletcher, E. P. Kontar, G. Mann, M. Onofri, V. Petrosian, R. Turkmani, N. Vilmer, and L.Vlahos, , 'Recent Advances in Understanding Particle Acceleration Processes in Solar Flares', chapter 8 in the book 'High-Energy Aspects of Solar Flares in the RHESSI era', also in Space Science Reviews, 159, 347, 2011

• Zharkov S.I., L.M.Green, S.A. Matthews and V.V. Zharkova, (2011), February 15, 2011: sun-quakes produced by flux rope eruption, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2011, ApJL, 741, L35

• Matthews S.A., Zharkov S.I. and Zharkova V.V. (2011): "Anatomy of a solar flare: \ Part I. The solar quake measurements of the December 14, 2006 X-class flare with GONG, Hinode and RHESSI," Astrophysical Journal, v. 79, N2, 71,

• Kuznetsov, A.A.  and Zharkova V.V., (2010) Multi-wavelength diagnostics of energetic electron anisotropy in solar flares. II. MW emission, Astrophysical Journal,  722, 1577

• Zharkova V.V., Kuznetsov, A.A. and Siverskyi, T.V. (2010) Multi-wavelength diagnostics of energetic electron anisotropy in solar flares. I. Hard X-rays, Astronomy & Astrophys., 512, A8

Further Information

Further information about Professor Zharkova's work can be found here.

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here





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