By Nicole Meyer-Vernet
Creation to sun wind for researchers and graduate scholars in atmospheric physics and astrophysics.
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Additional info for Basics of the Solar Wind
An important observational clue is that the small ﬁeld concentrations generally evolve at the same timescale as convective ﬂows, tending to accumulate at the edge of the convective cells. What causes the solar magnetic ﬁeld and its cycle? What determines the scale of its structures and their relation to one another? A hint may be obtained by comparing the energies of the magnetic ﬁeld and of the particle thermal motions. The thermal energy per particle at temperature T is 3kB T /2; with 5000 K a particle number density of about n 1023 particles/m3 at T in the photosphere, the density of thermal energy is 3nkB T /2 ∼ 104 J m−3 .
3) that the plasma and the magnetic ﬁeld lines are strongly tied together, so that the plasma can move along the ﬁeld lines but not across them, just as beads on a necklace. Near the poles, where the magnetic lines extend nearly radially, the outgoing wind can ﬂow unimpeded along them. In the equatorial regions, however, the situation is diﬀerent because an outgoing wind would have to ﬂow perpendicularly to the dipolar ﬁeld lines (Fig. 23). What happens in that case? Since the wind energy density exceeds that of the magnetic ﬁeld, the wind pushes out the ﬁeld, drawing the ﬁeld lines outwards to the extent that they become nearly parallel to the equator and no longer return to the surface.
In this geometry, all ﬁeld lines are closed; each one leaves the surface, extends outwards to a maximum distance L in the magnetic equatorial plane and then returns towards the surface on the other side (Fig. 23). 24 Simple model of how a dipolar magnetic ﬁeld imposed at the solar surface is modiﬁed by a wind ﬂowing along the ﬁeld lines. 2. 14). Furthermore this plasma manages to ﬂow outwards, with an energy density greater than that of the magnetic ﬁeld, as we will see in Chapters 5 and 6. How does this modify the picture?