Sean Robert Brannon

Ph.D Candidate, MSU Physics

Office: EPS 226

sbrannon at

Weekly Schedule & Office Hours

S. Robert Brannon
Department of Physics
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840

Advisor: Dr. Dana Longcope

About Me


Research Interests

Plasma Theory & Numerical Modeling

Observational Data & Statistics

  • Dynamics of solar flares
  • Chromospheric evaporation
  • Magnetohydrodynamics & shocks
  • Observations of Doppler shifts in the chromosphere
  • Chromospheric heating during flares
  • More...

Current and recent projects

Modeling TCF-driven chromospheric evaporation

My most active project involves developing a 1-D hydrodynamic ("shocktube") model to study chromospheric evaporation driven by thermal conduction in a flaring loop.  To do this, I use a one-fluid hydrodynamic shock, which is formed when a coronal loop contracts due to magnetic tension after a reconnection event.  This shock then develops a thermal conduction front, which deposits energy into the chromosphere, driving both upflows ("evaporation") and downflows ("condensation").

Go here to see some results from the model.

In the near future, I plan to use thius model to extend the work by Guidoni & Longcope (2010) on shocks formed in a reconnected retracting thin flux tube.  Dr. Guidoni's code generates the shocks in a dynamic retracting loop, but cannot easily handle the transition region or chromosphere.  My code will thus serve as an attachment to the end of the thin flux tube, and be driven by the boundary conditions.

IRIS observations

Research Log

Talks and Posters


Some links to stuff I like:

Favorite web comics

Warning: These may contain some inappropriate language.


I grew up in a little town called Paradise in northern California.  I did ballet, and also shot at things.  I got my undergraduate at Dickinson College in Carlisle PA.  I didn't originally go there for Physics, but that's what I got anyway.  Now I'm pursuing my Ph.D. in Solar Physics in Bozeman MT.

Last Updated: December 13, 2012