The physical origin of magnetic fields on the Sun and other cool stars remains one of the most important, yet least understood phenomena in astrophysics. It is also a timely research topic, since it is now known that magnetic activity changes the Sun’s luminosity and ultraviolet flux, both of which may have significant effects on the terrestrial environment.
In our research group, we investigate a number of topics relating to the emergence of magnetic flux on the Sun and its consequences, including the formation of active regions, heating of the Solar corona, and the origin of Solar flares. We use both theoretical and observational approaches in our studies, including analytical work, numerical simulations, and the analysis of exciting new spacecraft data, such as that from the Soft X-ray Telescope on the Yohkoh spacecraft, and from the SUMER UV spectrograph on the SOHO spacecraft. The detectors for several of the instruments on SOHO were built by members of the Experimental Astrophysics Group (EAG) here at Berkeley.