Dr Rekha Jain

My photo

School of Mathematics & statistics
University of Sheffield
Hicks Building
S3 7RH
United Kingdom

Phone:  +44 114 222 3732 (direct line)
Phone:  +44 114 222 3808 (School office)
Fax:  +44 114 222 3809
Email:  R.Jain@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty_prize (2012-13)

Associate Editor, The Astrophysical Journal Letters (2013-Present)

"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living."

Henri Poincare

TRACE image by courtesy of LMSAL

Research interests

My main research is in theoretical solar physics including MHD wave propagation, Helioseismology and coronal heating. My interest lies in solar physics focussing mainly on theoretical modelling to guide observations and using observations to constrain theory.

Study of the Sun's magnetic regions through solar oscillations

I am active in the study of the propagation of acoustic waves through magnetically active regions such as sunspots and plages. My area of research is at the forefront of local Helioseismology as there are no direct ways to observe the sub-surface structure of magnetic active regions. Theoretical modelling and comparing and predicting observational signatures is believed to be the way forward in understanding these topologically complex magnetic regions on the Sun's surface. My research has addressed many important questions regarding the solar oscillations (acoustic waves) i.e. (a) what is the physical origin of solar cycle variations in solar oscillations? (b) what causes the absorption of the acoustic fluxes in the magnetised regions ? (c) what causes the damping of the solar oscillations ? and (d) what are the types of MHD waves observed in the upper atmosphere of the Sun? This important research was fully supported by the EPSRC grant and has resulted in many papers published in the journals with high impact factors. The role of different physical mechanisms in the scattering and absorption of solar oscillations is further being investigated by STFC funding.

Forced Magnetic Reconnection and Solar Coronal Heating

How the Sun's outer atmosphere, also known as the solar corona, is heated to temperatures of millions of degrees is a major issue in solar physics. It is important to understand this issue as it has practical implications here on Earth's climate and `space weather'. Space missions reveal that the heating mechanism is connected to the magnetic fields and that it is intermittent. This suggests that the heating may be due to superposition of numerous small-scale energy releasing events, known as nanoflares. My research work focused on fundamental theoretical modelling of the physical mechanisms behind the nanoflares and simulation of nanoflare type events with an aim to understand the process and to investigate their response on the solar corona, such as variability in the X-ray brightness. Understanding the physical processes and predicting the observational signature is crucial to address the issue of the hot solar corona. Recent work also focusses on "Spine and Fan reconnection models".


PhD students and PDRAs

Current PhD student

  • Hope Thackray: (GTA studentship; 2016-2019) %

  • Past PhD students

  • Peter Wyper: "Magnetic Reconnection: 3D Magnetic Null points" (EPSRC studentship; 2009-2012)

  • Andrew Gascoyne: "Subsurface Magnetic Field Effects on Solar f and p modes Oscillations" (STFC studentship; 2007-2010)

  • Beniamin Orza (jointly with Dr. I. Ballai): "Dynamical phenomena in stratified solar coronal plasma" (Faculty studentship; 2009-2013)
  • Past PDRAs

  • Dr. A. Gascoyne: "Magnetic Features and Helioseismology" (STFC funded; 2012-2015)

  • Dr. M. Gordovskyy: "Acoustic Wave scattering by magnetic flux tubes" (EPSRC First grant; 2005-2008)

    Past M.Phil student

  • Samuel W. Jackson: "An investigation of magneto-acoustic waves" (EPSRC funded 2017)

    Public Outreach

    This page is maintained by Rekha Jain and was last updated in January 2017.