Magnetohydrodynamics: Physics for the 21st Century

- Hybrid -

11 - 15 October 2021

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Magnetohydrodynamics (or MHD) theory is at the heart of solar physics and returns in more extreme variants throughout our universe. It connects the dynamics in our solar heliosphere with those associated with accretion processes and jet flows about black holes, to those in laboratory fusion context. It mathematically describes the nonlinear complexity of turbulence and governs magnetic reconnection, a dynamic reshuffling of the intricate connectivity between the plasma and the magnetic field lines. MHD explains how our Earth’s magnetic dipole operates and protects us from the supersonic solar wind, through generating our magnetosphere.

Our current society, relying heavily on GPS and telecommunication, is vividly aware of the havoc that can result from a powerful solar flare, and is rightfully investing in MHD-based predictive efforts for space weather alerts. Plasma physics and MHD modeling are at the forefront of High-Performance Computing efforts, and already demonstrated that one can model Sun-to-Earth solar coronal mass ejections faster than real time. Similar breakthroughs have been realized in modeling solar prominences, which condense through radiative losses in the million-degree solar corona. More energetic processes, incorporating Einstein’s theory of special and general relativity, require accounting for the full, unmodified set of Maxwell equations, and relativistic MHD successfully reproduced multi-wavelength views we share on past cosmic explosions, such as the Crab pulsar wind nebula, or on the surroundings of black holes, recently made visible by the Event Horizon Telescope project. The time is ripe to bring these cutting-edge disciplines together, and prepare for the next generation of models in all these fields: those where microscopic and macroscopic scales actively interact.

This workshop aims to stimulate interaction and inspire new avenues for interdisciplinary research, which can lead to future joint publications between invited team members. 


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