Solar Dynamo Mechanisms

Vasilis Archontis & Bertil Dorch,
The Astronomical Observatory, The NBI f. AFG, Copenhagen University

Abstract: The solar dynamo reveals itself directly through the magnetic activity cycle observable on the solar surface as eg. the sunspot cycle. The dynamo is a result of the combined action of turbulent convection and differential rotation that converts kinetic into magnetic energy though work done against the Lorentz force. Since the interior of the Sun is hidden from us, the understanding of the solar dynamo rely on indirect observations (such as helioseismic investigations) and detailed numerical simulations of the solar plasma and its interaction with the magnetic field.

 The dynamo is not likely to be a result of one single process, but rather of a great number of pieces together forming a complicated dynamic behavior. We consider two types of dynamo mechaimsms that seem to be the two main catagories of dynamo action; barometric and topological effects.

The current dynamo paradigm contains several un-answered questions. We will ask a few of the questions and discuss concrete ways that we might try to answer them.

Further reading: Solar Dynamo Mechanisms, Hand-outs for the workshop.