UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


Welcome to our new postgraduate students!

5 October 2015

A warm welcome to our new postgraduate students Magnus Woods and Alexander James!


Alex joins us from the University of Southampton and will be working with Prof. Lucie Green and Dr. Gherardo Valori on a Leverhulme Trust funded project which bridges the gap between theory and observations of solar activity. In particular he will focus on the study of the magnetic field of active regions that produce coronal mass ejections - starting with the vector magnetic field measured in the photosphere which can be used to understand the evolution of the magnetic field configuration and stored magnetic energy in the atmosphere.

Magnus joins us from the University of Glasgow and will be working with Prof. Louise Harra and Dr. Sarah Matthews on a project to understand the trigger of solar flares. Although it is known that magnetic complexity and magnitude are all factors that lead to large flares, it is not know what exactly triggers a flare, and when exceptionally large ones will occur. At the peak of this solar cycle, we now have an extensive database of flares that have been observed spectroscopically with the Hinode EUV spectrometer. This allows us to explore the dynamics in the corona. The recently launched IRIS spacecraft studies the mysterious chromosphere spectrscopically and we now have a number of examples of flares being observed simulateously with the two spacecraft. This project will involve analysis of these datasets to produce the physical characteristics that lead to a solar flare occurring.