Research Topics

Research Topics


Major Projects: Solar Dynamics Observatory, WholeSun ERC Synergy project, German Data Center for SDO, Solar Orbiter, collaboration with Max Planck Fellow Group Inverse Problems, SFB Mathematics of Experiments.

Helioseismology, the use of solar oscillations to measure physical conditions in the solar interior, includes a wide range of methods. Global helioseismology is based on measuring and interpreting the resonant frequencies of the global acoustic oscillations of the Sun and allows us to study axisymmetric properties of the Sun such as internal differential rotation.  Local helioseismology involves measuring the correlations of the surface wave field, as well as properties of resonant modes within small patches of the Sun, and allows three−dimensional probing of the solar interior, as well as access to additional flow components such as the north−south meridional flow. In the department, we develop and apply both global and local methods of helioseismology; this involves solving the forward and inverse problems with the help of applied mathematicians. This work benefits from an active collaboration with the Fellow Group of Thorsten Hohage and with the Makutu team at Inria Bordeaux Sud-Ouest (e.g. with Florian Faucher who just won an ERC Starting Grant to work on helioseismic inversions). 

Helioseismology inferences are combined with physical and numerical models of the solar interior to better understand the global dynamics of the solar convection zone and the solar dynamo. Current efforts include the development of models of solar magnetoconvection in spherical shells and flux-transport models of the solar cycle.

Selected Major Results: Sun
List of current and past results on Sun. more

Stars and Planetary Systems

Major Projects: CoRoT, Kepler, TESS, PLATO

We study stellar rotation and activity using asteroseismology and photometric variability. Measurements of rotation and differential rotation, in combination with observations of stellar activity, provide strong constraints on dynamo models. Unfortunately, the internal differential rotation of any single Sun-like star is often poorly constrained by observations. The full sample of Kepler stars (later PLATO) which includes evolved and multiple stars is, however, very promising for extracting general patterns in rotation-activity-age relationships. Achieving this will require ever more reliable and accurate stellar evolution models with improved physics. We also study ways to improve the detection and characterization of exoplanets using photometric light curves. The parameters of planet-host stars, including their age, are inferred by combining asteroseismology and stellar models.  

Selected Major Results: Stars and Planetary Systems
List of current and past results on starts and planetary system. more


Ongoing projects/space missions
List of previous and currently funded projects in the Solar and Stellar Interiors Department. more

Heilo and asteroseismology
An overview of how helioseismology and asteroseismology tools are being used in the department to solve important problems  in solar and stellar physics. more

Open Phd Projects
In the "Solar and Stellar Interiors" department, Laurent Gizon, Jesper Schou, Aaron Birch, Robert Cameron and others offer PhD projects in solar physics and astrophysics. Helioseismology and asteroseismology are used as important tools to study the oscillating Sun and stars. more
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