Vol. 2 (2005) > lrsp-2005-7

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2005-7
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 2 (2005), 7

Topological Methods for the Analysis of Solar Magnetic Fields

1 Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, U.S.A.

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Article Abstract

The solar coronal magnetic field is anchored to a complex distribution of photospheric flux consisting of sunspots and magnetic elements. Coronal activity such as flares, eruptions and general heating is often attributed to the manner in which the coronal field responds to photospheric motions. A number of powerful techniques have been developed to characterize the response of the coronal field by describing its topology. According to such analyses, activity will be concentrated around topological features in the coronal field such as separatrices, null points or bald patches. Such topological properties are insensitive to the detailed geometry of the magnetic field and thereby create an analytic tool powerful and robust enough to be useful on complex observations with limited resolution. This article reviews those topological techniques, their developments and applications to observations.

Keywords: Magnetic fields

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Dana W. Longcope,
"Topological Methods for the Analysis of Solar Magnetic Fields",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 2,  (2005),  7. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2005-7
Title Topological Methods for the Analysis of Solar Magnetic Fields
Author Dana W. Longcope
Date accepted 28 June 2005, published 29 November 2005
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