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Title: Studies of solar flares : homology and X-ray line broadening
Author: Ranns, Neale David Raymond
ISNI:       0000 0001 3507 8746
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis starts with an introduction to the solar atmosphere and the physics that governs its behaviour. The formation processes of spectral lines are presented followed by an explanation of employed plasma diagnostic techniques and line broadening mechanisms. The current understanding on some principle concepts of flare physics are reviewed and the topics of flare homology and non-thermal line broadening are introduced. The many solar satellites and instrumentation that were utilised during this thesis are described. Analysis techniques for some instruments are also presented. A series of solar flares that conform to the literature definition for homologous flares are examined. The apparent homology is shown to be caused by emerging flux rather than continual stressing of a single, or group of, magnetic structure's. The implications for flare homology are discussed. The analysis of a solar flare with a rise and peak in the observed non-thermal X-ray line broadening (Vnt) is then performed. The location of the hot plasma within the flare area is determined and consequently the source of Vnt is located to be within and above the flare loops. The flare footpoints are therefore discarded as a possible source location. Viable source locations are discussed with a view to determining the dominant mechanism for the generation of line broadening. The timing relationships between the hard X-ray (HXR) flux and Vnt in many solar flares are then examined. I show that there is a causal relationship between these two parameters and that the HXR rise time is related to the time delay between the maxima of HXR flux and Vnt. The temporal evolution of Vnt is shown to be dependent upon the shape of the HXR burst. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of determining the line broadening mechanism and the limitations of the data. A summary of the results in this thesis is then presented together with suggestions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Astrophysics