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Solar Physics

Solar Physics

Lothar Oberauer, Aldo Ianni

ISBN: 978-3-527-41273-0

Jul 2019

300 pages


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While presenting current knowledge as well as unsolved problems in our understanding of the sun, this book also shows the fascinating interplay between particle physics and astrophysics -- culminating in the discovery of neutrino oscillations.
The text begins with an overview of how the model of the sun and thus of stars in general evolved over time, a development accompanied and maintained by some of the greatest discoveries in physics, ranging from the evolution of quantum mechanics, via nuclear physics right up to modern questions in particle physics. Special emphasis is placed on the current generation of solar neutrino observatories, and although neutrino oscillations form the central subject of the book, open questions and problems as well as possible solutions are also discussed.
1. Historical overview
Understanding the Sun was always a strong motivation to develop natural science and it triggered many discoveries in other fields in physics until today, when we learned about neutrino oscillations from solar neutrinos.

2. Solar structure and evolution
Basic equations and concepts of stellar evolution with focus to a star
of the mass and age of the Sun.

3. Nuclear thermal fusion processes
Basics of the fundamental force which makes the Sun shining: thermal nuclear fusion of protons to helium. pp- and CNO cycles.

4. The solar exterior
Which processes dominate at the ""surface"" of the sun. Photosphere, solar activities, solar chemical compositions, high energy particles from the corona, opacities.

5. The solar interior I
Helioseismology. Basic concepts, observations, and interpretation of the data. p-mode and g-mode helioseismology. Comparison with opacity
measurements from the solar exterior. Problem of the solar metallicity. Future projects.

6. The solar interior II
Neutrino emission from the Sun. Rates and spectral distributions. Solar experiments from homestake to Borexino. The solar neutrino puzzle and its solution.

7. Neutrino oscillations
Basic concept of neutrino oscillations. Implications on astro- and particle physics. Context with other neutrino experiments, open questions in neutrino physics. Future projects.