Département de physique
Université de Montréal
C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville
Canada H3C 3J7
Research field: Solar Physics; magnetohydrodynamics; complex systems.
Description of the research project:
The solar magnetic cycle is the driver and energy source of all of solar activity, and strongly modulates the frequency of geoeffective solar eruptive phenomena underlying space weather, potentially damaging to technological infrastructures, and perhaps even affecting Earth's climate. The work of Paul Charbonneau's research group aims at a better understanding of the physical mechanisms driving the solar magnetic cycle, including the significant fluctuations observed in the duration and amplitude of individual cycles. The key lies in the complex nonlinear interactions between the solar magnetic field and internal plasma flows. Paul Charbonneau and his team recently achieved a worlds first, namely a global magnetohydrodynamical convective dynamo simulation producing a large-scale magnetic field showing a very solar-like spatiotemporal evolution, including, in particular regular polarity reversals taking place on a multi-decadal timescale. They are also developing novel computational approaches to the modeling of the photospheric impacts of the solar magnetic field, which allows them to couple solar cycle models to reconstruction schemes for the total and spectral solar irradiances, a key step in better quantifying possible influences of solar activity on Earth's climate.
Prix et distinctions: