LPL Colloquium: Dr. Vladimir Florinski

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm

Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 308

Dr. Vladimir Florinski*
Assistant Professor
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Host: Randy Jokipii

Exploring the boundary of the solar system

A momentous event is unfolding some 123 astronomical units from the Sun. For the first time a space probe is leaving the confines of the heliosphere and entering interstellar space. Over the past decade the twin Voyager probes have confirmed experimentally the existence of the solar wind termination shock and the region of compressed and heated plasma beyond, known as the heliosheath. Voyager results have also challenged previously accepted theories of the origin, properties, and acceleration mechanism of energetic charged particle populations in the outer heliosphere. A classic example is the theory anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs) which underwent a substantial revision following Voyager discoveries.

In this talk I will present an overview of the physics of the heliospheric interface from a theoretical and modeling perspective. I will discuss the plasma flow structure and magnetic field topology inside the heliosheath and beyond, and their imprint on the anomalous and galactic cosmic-ray populations. I will also review recent modeling activities and computational infrastructure development by my research team at the UA Huntsville.

*Contributions to this work by X. Guo, F. Alouani-Bibi and U. Senanayake is acknowledged.