Career: Probing Energy Release In Solar Explosive Events With New Generation Radio Telescopes

Project: Research project

Project Details


The research program of this five-year CAREER project has the potential to significantly advance knowledge on key topics in heliophysics and astrophysics, namely the physical mechanism(s) responsible for releasing a large amount of energy catastrophically and accelerating charged particles to high energies in a short timescale. By developing unique methods enabled by the new radio observing technique, the project will fill a major gap in the knowledge of the location and properties of the energy release site by tracing accelerated electrons, mapping dynamic shocks, as well as deriving energetic electron distribution and magnetic field in and around the flaring region. It is expected that the knowledge gained from this project will impact not only the field of solar physics, but also many other heliophysical and astrophysical contexts where similar physical processes occur in the magnetized plasma.This CAREER project will utilize a new generation of radio telescopes, including the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array and the Jansky Very Large Array, to study solar explosions with a fundamentally new technique: broadband radio dynamic imaging spectropolarimetry. This technique enables the capability of obtaining a high-resolution radio spectrum from every pixel of a radio image at a cadence of tens of milliseconds. Complemented by multi-wavelength data in optical, ultraviolet, and X-rays, these radio observations will provide revolutionarily new diagnostic methods to probe fundamental physical processes behind these explosive events. Topics of the proposed research project will be integrated into teaching and mentoring students at all levels. A Solar Radio Laboratory (SRL) will be built on campus to serve as a new teaching facility for student education and hands-on training in both physics and engineering. The PI will also contribute to the development of a new graduate curriculum in solar and space physics under the framework of the multi-institutional Hale Collaborative Graduate Education (COLLAGE) program. The PI will create a course module for the COLLAGE program by integrating his specialties in high-energy solar physics, current research topics, and hands-on teaching/training resources enabled by the SRL.Improved knowledge on the origin of solar explosive events is critical to understanding the basic science needed to meet the goals of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan, which aims to develop tools to forecast space weather and mitigate its impacts. The experience gained from this project will also form the basis for developing the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR), which is a traNational Science Foundation ormative solar radio telescope recommended by two decadal surveys for construction in this decade. The educational component of this program will educate and train students at all levels in cutting-edge observations, instrumentation, and modeling through the SRL platform. The development of the Hale COLLAGE Program will foster the growth of next-generation solar and space physicists by providing effective education and hands-on training for students at NJIT and other institutions. The research and EPO agenda of this CAREER project supports the Strategic Goals of the AGS Division in discovery, learning, diversity, and interdisciplinary research.
Effective start/end date1/15/1712/31/21


  • National Science Foundation


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