Project A5


Prof. Dr. Henning Soltwisch
Institute for Experimental Physics V
Ruhr-University Bochum


Experimental Simulation of Solar Flares


Hot, magnetized plasma configurations often exhibit a very complex dynamical behavior due to
free energy released from the magnetic field. One well-known example are Solar prominences
which, after a long-lasting quasi-stationary phase, often result in spectacular eruptions like
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that come along with intricate three-dimensional and time-
dependent magnetic fields and plasma flow velocities close to the Alfvén velocity. The aim of
this project is to achieve a better understanding of such events by studying the stability and
dynamical behavior of a class of model configurations. To this end, experiments on a laboratory
plasma discharge and numerical MHD simulations will be carried out in a concerted manner.
This combined strategy will then open the possibility to investigate the influence of parameters
like the initial magnetic field geometry on magnetic stability and on properties of the resulting
dynamics, and, in turn, to draw conclusions for the interpretation of Solar observations.