I study the interactions between magnetic fields and plasmas. My aims are to explain why the outer atmosphere of the sun – the solar corona – is heated to millions of degrees Kelvin, and to understand the most powerful explosions in the solar system: solar flares. I am also investigating how plasmas can be confirmed by magnetic fields for controlled fusion power.
Solar physics is a fascinating research field because the sun is our closest star, and has been a subject of scientific study since earliest times – and yet there are still many fundamental things we do not understand. One reason I really enjoy doing research is that one question always leads to another: so as we learn more, we find more problems to solve. I also enjoy using mathematical modelling to give real physical insight and explain observed phenomena.
Reseach group: Sun, Stars and Galaxies
I like to think that I convey my own enthusiasm and excitement about physics. My lectures contain material from my own research fields, so the students realise the relevance of what they are learning, and can relate their studies to current research.
I really enjoy trying to get over new ideas and concepts, and it is always a good moment when you see the penny drop, and somebody understands something new.