Sigma Pi Sigma Colloquium

Solar Storms and Space Weather

Professor Allan Weatherwax
Department of Physics
Siena College

Contrary to what may be commonly assumed, space is not empty. It is filled with charged particles such as protons and electrons, electric and magnetic fields, dust, and cosmic rays. Indeed, the several decades since the advent of space flight have witnessed the ever growing importance and relevance of the near-Earth space environment for understanding the functioning of our planet within the solar system and for understanding the effects of the Sun's influence on technological systems deployed on Earth and in space. The beautiful northern lights are just one component of this extremely complex natural system, and Earth is the only planetary system that we can expect to study in detail. However, the space environment is highly variable and can produce conditions that can damage not only various space-based technological systems, but also ground-based systems such as electrical power transmission grids and communication systems. In this talk, I will discuss this environmental variability, also known as Space Weather, and several current research efforts aimed at understanding and predicting the behavior of the space environment.

*) Refreshments will be prior at 3:00 p.m., in the Gant Science Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103.

Friday, April 27, 2007
4:00 pm
Gant Science Complex
Physics Department
Room P38

© 2007 Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
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