Rahul Sharma  


                                       “Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock.

                                                                                                         Anaxagoras (499 - 428 BC)

Hello, I am Rahul and am spending my summer as a REU intern with solar physics group at Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, while working with Prof. Piet Martens on solar coronal heating.

To understand the physics behind solar coronal heating problem, we study coronal loops which are bright structures emerging from Sun’s surface over the regions of opposite polarity and are key to the understanding why Sun’s atmosphere (Corona) is so hot. Measurements tells us the atmosphere of the Sun is actually hotter than the Sun’s surface. This is quite reverse of traditional thinking and to the laws of physics itself. For example; the air around a light bulb isn’t hotter than the bulb itself, the heat from an object will decrease the further away you measure the temperature. But on Sun, the temperature of corona is of the order of 1-3 million kelvin when compared to surface temperature which is around 6000 Kelvin.

This summer, I would attempt to understand the role of coronal loops in heating of solar atmosphere. My work would involve data analysis that will help in identifying the under - lying physical processes.


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