On the topology of complex magnetic fields of the Sun and the magnetosphere
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
With reference to several magnetohydrodynamic experiments, I will illustrate the typical topological structures found on the Sun and in the Earth's magnetosphere and discuss their importance for key phenomena such as solar flares and aurora. In particular, it has been found that the topological evolution of even relatively simple magnetic field structures are much more complex than expected with much of the complexity confined to thin layers. These thin layers are amazingly intricate and highly dynamic. Understanding not only the magnetic topological evolution, but also the energetic response and the plasma dynamics in these layers, is key to explaining many of the major unanswered questions of not only solar physics, but also of other stars and astrophysical bodies and even laboratory based plasma physics.