Skip to main content
Research_

Space and solar physics

Exploring the outer boundaries of our solar system
Space physics is essential for understanding humanity's local environment and solar system. Learn more about our research in this area.
Photograph of a solar flare on the Sun's surface.

Photograph of a solar flare on the Sun's surface.

Dynamic spectra showing radio emission from the outer heliosphere due to interplanetary shocks.

Dynamic spectra showing radio emission from the outer heliosphere due to interplanetary shocks.

Overview

Space science covers everything from Earth's surface to the Sun and then out into the galaxy. The range of space physics studied here is from Earth's ionosphere to the Sun's surface to the outer boundaries of the heliosphere and solar system, where the Sun's "solar wind" interacts with the local interstellar medium. As such it includes the solar corona and solar wind (sometimes called the interplanetary medium), the ionospheres and magnetospheres of Earth and the other planets, and the "Space Weather" that results from interactions between the Sun and Earth.

Space physics is essential for understanding humanity's local environment and solar system. It is also crucial for modern astrophysics, since space plasmas are the only extraterrestrial plasmas available for detailed in situ study and comparison of theory with data. Plasma physics is the basic underlying sub-discipline of physics. The reason is that these regions all contain plasmas, the so-called "Fourth State of Matter", in which atoms are either partially or fully ionized into electrons and ions, thereby being strong influenced by electromagnetic waves and vice-versa.

Our team

  • Professor¬†Iver Cairns
  • Sergey Vladimirov
  • Bo Li
  • Vasili Lobzin
  • Joachim Schimdt

Postgraduates

  • Daniel Graham
  • Fiona Schleyer
  • Dion Tiu
  • Alexander Hirde
  • Andrew Layden
  • Brett Layden

Undegraduates

  • Cleo Lo
  • Nathan Wallace
  • James Harding
  • Sudarsh Bhardwas