Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics - (Ph.D.)

Department

Federated Physics Department

First Advisor

Haimin Wang

Second Advisor

Philip R. Goode

Third Advisor

Dale E. Gary

Fourth Advisor

Carsten J. Denker

Fifth Advisor

Zhen Wu

Abstract

The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the connection between the dynamics of solar surface phenomena such as filament eruptions, flares, the coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the core of so-called solar activity, and the properties of the associated magnetic field for the development of forecasts of solar activity and space weather. Both statistical and case studies have been carried out.

The topics covered in this dissertation are: the statistical relationship among phenomena of solar activity, in particular, filament eruptions, flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs); the correlation between magnetic reconnection rate and flux rope acceleration of two-ribbon flares; the correlation between magnetic twist of linear-force-free active region and solar eruptions; a case analysis of a quiet-sun flare associated with an erupting filament and a fast CME; a case analysis of the periodic motion along a filament initiated by a subflare; and a case analysis of the evolution of the twist of an eruptive filament.

The findings and results confirm some of the theories and conjectures previously proposed and put forth some new insights into the physics of phenomena of solar activity, briefly summarized as follows: (1) a statistical relationship is found among filament eruptions, flares and CMEs; (2) the majority of filament eruptions is found to be associated with new magnetic flux emergence within or adjacent to the eruptive filament; (3) a rapid increase in pitch angle of the twisted structure of an eruptive filament appears to be a trigger of the solar eruption; (4) the hemispheric chirality preferences of quiescent filaments is confirmed; (5) the geoeffectiveness of halo CMEs is found to be associated with the orientation and the chirality of the magnetic fields associated with the eruptions; (6) the temporal correlation between the magnetic reconnection rate and the flare nonthermal emission is verified; (7) the coronal magnetic reconnection is found to be inhomogeneous along the flare ribbons; (8) a positive and strong correlation is found between magnetic reconnection rate and the acceleration of eruptive filaments which represents the early stages of flux rope eruptions in the low corona; and (9) a special type of periodic mass motion in a filaments is reported that remains a challenge to the classical and recent filament models and may provide information on the existence of the filaments.

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