Topology and Complexity of Braided Magnetic Fields of the Sun

The corona of the Sun is thousands of times hotter than the surface. The mechanisms behind this coronal heating are not fully understood. Many solar phenomena are driven by the storing and release of magnetic energy. A leading hypothesis for coronal heating is a process dubbed braided magnetic fields. This is a phenomenon in which the magnetic field lines within a flux tube have a non-trivial winding, linkage, or braiding. Although proven to contribute somewhat to the high temperature of the corona, the efficiency of this process is still hotly debated. As such, stronger understanding of the creation, evolution and topology of the magnetic fields are required to fully understand the corona and the plasma dynamics that take place around the Sun. This work aims to apply results from topology and braid theory to quantify the complexity of the magnetic field and perform data analysis on photospheric data of the Sun to understand how the braiding of the magnetic fields occur, determine the rate of complexity increase, and in turn, attempt to provide estimations of the energy injected to the corona.

Zachariah Jones

The University of Newcastle

Zachariah Jones is a final year Bachelor of Mathematics and Bachelor of Science student at the University of Newcastle majoring pure mathematics and physics. He is particularly interested in the intersection of mathematics and physics and how very abstract concepts can be applied to help further understand the many mysteries of the universe. Zachariah has always had a keen interest in all things astronomy and astrophysics and is excited to apply methods from pure mathematics to unravel the extreme phenomena out in the universe. Over the course of his undergraduate studies he has developed a passion for group theory and differential equations. Zachariah plans to begin his honours study at the University of Newcastle in 2024.

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