Module Identifier PH38510  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Professor Philip Williams  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Andrew Breen, Professor Leonard Kersley  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 2  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 workshops/exercise classes  
Assessment Exam   End of semester examinations   80%  
  Course work   3 Exercise Classes Coursework Deadlines (by week of Semester): Exercise Class 1 Week 4 Exercise Class 2 Week 8 Exercise Class 3 Week 11   20%  

Module description
Examines in detail the physics of our nearest star and of its interaction with the Solar System. Topics covered include the Sun's structure, energy production and transport processes, solar activity, the solar wind and its interaction with planets and comets.

Learning outcomes
After taking this module students should be able to:

Additional learning activities
Use of solar telescope to observe sunspots.

Outline syllabus
Sun (5) :
Structure of the Sun. Nuclear processes in the core. Solar neutrinos. Radiative and Convective zones. Solar seismology. Photosphere and Chromosphere.

Solar Activity (5) :
Sunspots, faculae, plages, prominences, filaments. Babcock-Leighton theory. Flares. Solar radio emission. Bursts. X-rays. Particle emission.

Interplanetary Medium (5) :
Corona. Coronal Heating.
Plasma density in corona and interplanetary space :
Scattering of light in the solar corona. Space-craft measurements.
Irregularities in corona and interplanetary space : Coronal features, interplanetary scintillations.
Dynamics of corona and solar wind: Movement of visible features in the corona. Doppler shift of radar echoes.
Comet tails. Interplanetary scintillation.

Solar wind (4) :
Parker's theory. Solar breeze and solar wind. Effect of conductivity and viscosity. Spiral structure of Interplanetary magnetic field. Acceleration of solar wind near sun. Non-uniform flow and shock fronts. Terminator Shock.

Comets and Meteoroids (1) :
Structure of Comets : Core, Coma, Cloud, Dust Tail, Plasma Tail and Ion Loading. Comets and Meteor Showers.

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
M.G. Kivelson & C.T. Russell (eds). (1995) Introduction to Space Physics. CUP ISBN 0 521 45714 9
** Supplementary Text
K.J.H. Phillips. (1992) Guide to the Sun. CUP ISBN 0 521 39483 X