Xing Li
BSc, PhD (Hefei)

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details

Room Number..........:  3.20
Building....................:  Physical Sciences
Phone.......................:   +44 (0)1970 621542
E-Mail........................:   xxl
Home Page...............:   Personal


Dr. Xing Li was born in the People's Republic of China. He was educated in the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He got his bachelor's and master's degrees of science in plasma physics. His PhD thesis was about the property of minor ions in the fast solar wind. After he completed his PhD study he worked in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a post doctoral fellow and developed solar wind models (wind driven by turbulence-driven ion-cyclotron waves and 16 moment models).

In March 2001, he was appointed as a lecturer in the physics department. His research interests are the coronal and solar wind physics, various plasma waves and instabilities in space plasma and the corona, and multi-fluid and MHD modeling of the corona and wind. A long standing interest is the heating and acceleration mechanisms of the solar wind. His current research interests are space plasma turbulence at very small scales where energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations and particle heating are possible.

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Solar Wind Plasma Turbulence:

    Coronal heating has been a myth for several decades. The temperature of solar atmosphere at the photo sphere is about only 5000 degrees. However, it reaches about 1 million degree in less than 20000 km above the photosphere. It has long been thought that turbulence plays a key role in the heating of the solar corona and its extension: the solar wind. My main research interest is the analysis of space plasma turbulence using multi-spacecraft data analysing techniques. We use k-filtering and phase-differencing techniques to have close-up snapshots of plasma perturbations in order to understand and better describe the behaviour of turbulent fluctuations at ever small scales

    I am also interested in the broad space plasma physics, such as propagation of plasma waves, plasma instabilities.

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

  • PH22510: Electricity and Magnetism
  • PH23320: Experimental Analogue Electronics
  • PH28310: The Solar Interior
  • PH34710: General Relativity and Cosmology
  • PH38410: The Solar Atmosphere & Heliosphere
  • PH39710: Space Plasmas
  • PHM2510: Electromagnetic Theory
  • PHM7020: Advanced Research Topics



Roberts, O.W., Narita, Y., Li, X., Escoubet, C.P., Laakso, H. 2017. Multi-point analysis of compressive fluctuations in the fast and slow solar wind: Compressive turbulence in the solar wind. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122 (7) pp. 6940-6963. 10.1002/2016JA023552


Wang, R., Lu, Q., Nakamura, R., Huang, C., Li, X., Wu, M., Du, A., Gao, X., Wang, S. 2016. Electrostatic and electromagnetic fluctuations detected inside magnetic flux ropes during magnetic reconnection. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 121 (10) pp. 9473-9482. 10.1002/2016JA022906 Cadair

Roberts, O., Li, X., Alexandrova, O., Li, B. 2016. Observation of an MHD Alfvén vortex in the slow solar wind. Journal of Geophysical Research 121 (5) pp. 3870-3881. 10.1002/2015JA022248 Cadair


Jiao, F., Xia, L., Li, B., Huang, Z., Li, X., Chandrashekhar, K., Mou, C., Fu, H. 2015. Sources of quasi-periodic propagating disturbances above a solar polar coronal hole. Astrophysical Journal Letters 809 (1) 10.1088/2041-8205/809/1/L17 Cadair

Fu, H., Li, B., Li, X., Huang, Z., Mou, C., Jiao, F., Xia, L. 2015. Coronal Sources and In Situ Properties of the Solar Winds Sampled by ACE During 1999 - 2008. Solar Physics 290 (5) pp. 1399-1415. 10.1007/s11207-015-0689-9 Other Cadair

Roberts, O., Li, X., Jeska, L. 2015. A Statistical Study of the Solar Wind Turbulence at Ion Kinetic Scales Using the k-filtering Technique and Cluster Data. Astrophysical Journal 802 (1) pp. 1-13. 10.1088/0004-637X/802/1/2 Cadair

Roberts, O., Li, X. 2015. Evidence of the Ion Cyclotron Resonance at Proton Kinetic Scales in the Solar Wind. Astrophysical Journal 802 (1) pp. 1-11. 10.1088/0004-637X/802/1/1 Cadair


Roberts, O.W., Li, X., Jeska, L. 2014. Validation of the k-filtering technique for a signal composed of random phase plane waves and non-random coherent structures. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems 3 (2) pp. 435-454. 10.5194/gi-3-247-2014 Cadair

Wang, R., Lu, Q., Khotyaintsev, Y.V., Volwerk, M., Du, A., Nakamura, R., Gonzalez, W.D., Sun, X., Baumjohann, W., Li, X., Zhang, T., Fazakerley, A.N., Huang, C., Wu, M. 2014. Observation of double layer in the separatrix region during magnetic reconnection. Geophysical Research Letters 41 (14) pp. 4851-4858. 10.1002/2014GL061157 Other Cadair

Li, B., Xie, H., Li, X., Xia, L. 2014. Parallel-cascade-based mechanisms for heating solar coronal loops: test against observations. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series 488 8th International Conference of Numerical Modeling of Space Pasma Flows (ASTRONUM 2013). pp. 155-155. Other Cadair

Ruan, G., Chen, Y., Wang, S., Zhang, H., Li, G., Jing, J., Su, J., Li, X., Xu, H., Du, G., Wang, H. 2014. A Solar Eruption Driven by Rapid Sunspot Rotation. Astrophysical Journal 784 (2) 165 10.1088/0004-637X/784/2/165 Other Cadair

Gao, X., Lu, Q., Li, X., Hao, Y., Tao, X., Wang, S. 2014. Ion Dynamics during the Parametric Instabilities of a Left-hand Polarized Alfvén Wave in a Proton-Electron-Alpha Plasma. Astrophysical Journal 780 (1) 56 10.1088/0004-637X/780/1/56 Other Cadair


Li, B., Li, X. 2013. 太阳风加速与太阳开场区日冕加热. [The acceleration of the solar wind and coronal heating of the open field regions.] Science Press, Beijing Other Cadair

Gao, X., Lu, Q., Li, X., Shan, L., Wang, S. 2013. Parametric instability of a monochromatic Alfven wave: Perpendicular decay in low beta plasma. Physics of Plasmas 20 072092 10.1063/1.4816703 Other Cadair

Roberts, O.W., Li, X., Li, B. 2013. KINETIC PLASMA TURBULENCE IN THE FAST SOLAR WIND MEASURED BY CLUSTER. Astrophysical Journal 769 (1) 58 10.1088/0004-637X/769/1/58 Other Cadair

Gao, X., Lu, Q., Li, X., Shan, L., Wang, S. 2013. Electromagnetic Proton/Proton Instability and Its Implications for Ion Heating in the Extended Fast Solar Wind. Astrophysical Journal 764 (1) 10.1088/0004-637X/764/1/71 pp. 71-76. 10.1088/0004-637X/764/1/71 Cadair


Li, X., Morgan, H., Leonard, D., Jeska, L. 2012. A Solar Tornado Observed by AIA/SDO: Rotational Flow and Evolution of Magnetic Helicity in a Prominence and Cavity. Astrophysical Journal 752 (2) L22 10.1088/2041-8205/752/2/L22 Other Cadair

Li, X., Morgan, H., Leonard, D., Jeska, L. 2012. A huge solar tornado observed by Solar Dynamic Observatory. Other Cadair


Li, X., Lu, Q.M. 2010. Heating and deceleration of minor ions in the extended fast solar wind by oblique Alfvén waves. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 115 (A8) pp. 1-7. 10.1029/2010JA015303 Other Cadair

Chen, Y., Song, H.Q., Li, B., Xia, L.D., Wu, Z., Fu, H., Li, X. 2010. STREAMER WAVES DRIVEN BY CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS. Astrophysical Journal 714 (1) 10.1088/0004-637X/714/1/644 Other Cadair

Wang, R., Lu, Q., Li, X., Huang, C., Wang, S. 2010. Observations of energetic electrons up to 200 keV associated with a secondary island near the center of an ion diffusion region: A Cluster case study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 115 A11201 Other Cadair

Li, X., Lu, Q., Chen, Y., Li, B., Xia, L. 2010. A kinetic alfvén wave and the proton distribution function in the fast solar wind. Astrophysical Journal 719 pp. L190-L193. 10.1088/2041-8205/719/2/L190 Other Cadair


Lu, Q., Du, A., Li, X. 2009. Two-dimensional hybrid simulations of the oblique electromagnetic alpha/proton instability in the solar wind. Physics of Plasmas 16 (4) 42901 10.1063/1.3116651 Cadair

Chen, Y., Li, X., Song, H.Q., Shi, Q.Q., Feng, S.W., Xia, L.D. 2009. Intrinsic instability of coronal streamers. Astrophysical Journal 691 (2) pp. 1936-1942. 10.1088/0004-637X/691/2/1936 Cadair

Li, B., Li, X. 2009. Angular momentum transport in a multicomponent solar wind with differentially flowing, thermally anisotropic ions. Astronomy and Astrophysics 494 (1) pp. 361-371. 10.1051/0004-6361:200810992 Cadair


Li, X. 2008. Observational constraints on the theories of solar wind acceleration. Solar and space physics workshop: space plasma physics. Cadair

Li, B., Li, X. 2008. Effects of Non-WKB Alfvén Waves on a Multicomponent Solar Wind with Differential Ion Flow. Astrophysical Journal 682 (1) pp. 667-678. 10.1086/588809 Cadair

Li, X. 2008. Steepening of Alfvenic spectrum in the dissipation range and the nature of the proton heat flux in the solar wind. UK National Astronomy meeting. Cadair


Li, X., Lu, Q.M., Li, B. 2007. Ion Pickup by Finite Amplitude Parallel Propagating Alfven Waves. Astrophysical Journal Letters 661 (1) pp. L105-L108. 10.1086/518420 Other Cadair


Li, X., Habbal, S.R. 2005. Hybrid simulation of ion cyclotron resonance in the solar wind: evolution of velocity distribution functions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 110 (A10) 10.1029/2005JA011030 Other Cadair


Morgan, H., Habbal, S.R., Li, X. 2004. Hydrogen Lyα Intensity Oscillations Observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer. Astrophysical Journal 605 (1) pp. 521-527. 10.1086/382203 Other Cadair


Habbal, S.R., Li, X. 2003. Coronal loops heated by turbulence-driven Alfven waves. Astrophysical Journal Letters 598 (2) pp. L125-L128. 10.1086/380776 Other Cadair

Li, X. 2003. Transition region, coronal heating and the fast solar wind. Astronomy and Astrophysics 406 (1) pp. 345-356. 10.1051/0004-6361:20030676 Other Cadair Other