Petascale Simulations of Inhomogeneous Alfven Turbulence in the Solar Wind

PI Name: 
Jean C Perez
PI Email: 
jeanc.perez@unh.edu
Institution: 
University of New Hampshire
Allocation Program: 
INCITE
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
10,000,000
Year: 
2012
Research Domain: 
Physics

This project’s large-scale numerical simulations of Alfvén wave (AW) turbulence in the outermost atmosphere of the sun will lead to new insights into the basic properties of inhomogeneous AW turbulence and make a major contribution to scientists’ understanding of coronal heating and the origin of the solar wind.

The project will carry out the first direct numerical simulations of AW turbulence in the extended solar atmosphere that account for inhomogeneities in the density, flow speed (U ), and background magnetic field ( 0 B ) within a narrow magnetic flux tube extending from roughly one solar radius to eleven solar radii. Numerical simulations will be compared with remote observations.

NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission in 2018 to uncover the origin of the solar wind will send a spacecraft inside the solar atmospheric region that this project will simulate numerically. The simulations of this project will enable detailed comparisons with future spacecraft measurements, contributing significantly to the science return of this pioneering mission.