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Solar Terrestrial and Experimental Plasma Physics Synergy: STEPPS
The principal aim of the workshop is to bring together world-leading experts in solar observational analysis and numerical / analytical modelling, together with experts in the field of theoretical and experimental plasma physics, in order to exploit the collaborative potential and multi-disciplinary investigation of plasma processes in the solar atmosphere with their laboratory analogue. So there is potentially a lot to learn about the nature of space plasma, particularly in the vicinity of our nearest star, the Sun, through the collaboration of both disciplines.
Multi-scale plasma processes, such as waves and particle acceleration, are thought to exist in a variety of magnetic structures in the atmosphere of the Sun and they play a key role with respect to energy transfer from the photosphere (lower solar atmosphere) to the corona (upper solar atmosphere). A major long-standing question in astrophysics is “What is the physical mechanism leading to solar coronal heating?”. To answer this question advanced high-resolution solar observatories (such as ground-based IBIS/DST, CRISP/SST, ROSA/DST, as well as, space-based IRIS, Hinode, SDO, Hi-C), have provided a step-change in our understanding of the non-thermodynamic physical mechanisms that must contribute to atmospheric heating, through indirect measurements of plasma properties such as magnetic fields, electron / mass density structure and velocity.
Combined with cutting-edge numerical simulations, high-resolution observations and theoretical developments have produced great advances with regard to multi-scale plasma modeling. Although these processes eventually manifest themselves in large-scale structures, e.g., flares and coronal loops, the plasma heating mechanisms responsible happen at particle scales too small to detect in this astrophysical context. Crucially there is much to be learned about the origin of fundamental plasma processes (for e.g. magnetic reconnection and wave energy transport arisi