Magnetohydrodynamics and Astrophysics

We work across the disciplines of mathematics, physics, and astrophysics, investigating unsolved problems on a range of topics in astrophysics and plasma physics

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Our philosophy is to combine computational and mathematical modelling with observations to address problems that can't be solved by any one of these approaches alone. By focussing on understanding fundamental processes, we obtain results that have cross-disciplinary impact in areas such as laboratory plasmas, classical fluids, and superfluids.

One core research focus is on plasma dynamics in the Sun’s atmosphere, where we address topics such as the heating of the solar coronal plasma, acceleration of the solar wind, and processes important in solar flares such as magnetic reconnection. This work contributes to the international effort to develop reliable forecasting systems for “space-weather”, essential for enabling space exploration and protecting services in our increasingly technological society.

Further core activities focus on the formation, evolution, and dynamics of planetary systems, studies of star formation, accretion, protoplanetary disks, and stellar activity in young stars.

Our approach to addressing the above problems combines numerical (high performance computing) simulations – such as CFD and Monte Carlo radiative transfer – both with mathematical analysis and observational studies. Mathematical analysis makes use of dynamical systems theory, differential equations, braid theory and differential geometry. Observational methods combine multi-wavelength observations from ground- and space-based telescopes.

Academic lead

Gunnar Hornig

Professor, Chair of Magnetohydrodynamics
 +44 (0)1382 388315

Core academic staff