Seminars & Events

Electromagnetic Thermal Noise in the Era of Inner Heliospheric Solar Missions

Peter H. Yoon
University of Maryland, College Park, USA

In July of 2018 NASA will launch historic inner heliospheric mission Parker Solar Probe, which will be followed by ESA’s similar mission Solar Orbiter in a couple of years. The science objectives of these missions is to investigate the outstanding problem of solar coronal heating and solar wind acceleration. Among the detailed science tasks is the detection of energetic electrons streaming out of the solar source, but close to the Sun, the highly field aligned solar electrons known as the strahl cannot directly be detected because of the heat shield that protects the Parker Solar Probe from intense solar heat. However, these electrons may be indirectly measured by means of quasi thermal noise that these electrons may excite. Close to the Sun, as close as nine solar radii, the thermal noise may not be simply electrostatic, but rather, these emissions may contain enough electromagnetic component. Until quite recently, the theory of thermal noise in the plasma was available only in the electrostatic form. Recently, however, fully general theory of thermal noise in magnetized plasma was formulated. Making use of such a theory, it is possible to compute and make specific predictions on the level of magnetic thermal noise in the inner heliosphere. In this talk, the general theory of electromagnetic thermal noise will be discussed and possible prediction of the expected magnetic field fluctuations that may be detected by Parker Solar Probe will be discussed.
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