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/ Department of Physics

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Experts in: Solar activity

Charbonneau, Paul


Professeur titulaire

The solar magnetic cycle is both the driver and energy source of all of solar eruptive phenomena with impacts on Earth, whether it has to do with space weather, damage to technological infrastructures or perhaps even impacts on Earth's long-term climate. The work of my research group aims in part at better understanding the physical mechanisms driving the solar magnetic cycle, including the significant fluctuations observed in the duration and amplitude of individual cycles. The unifying physical principle underlying all the phenomena that we model lies in the complex nonlinear interactions between the solar magnetic field and internal plasma flows in its outer layers.

We recently achieved a world first: a global magnetohydrodynamical convective dynamo simulation producing a large-scale magnetic field showing a very solar-like spatiotemporal evolution, including, in particular, regular polarity reversals taking place on a multi-decadal timescale. We are also developing novel computational approaches to modelling the photospheric impacts of the solar magnetic field, which allows us to couple solar-cycle models to reconstruction schemes for describing variations in spectral irradiance and solar luminosity during the activity cycle, a key step in better quantifying possible influences of solar activity on climate change.


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