POLMAG aims at a true breakthrough in the development and application of polarized radiation diagnostic methods for exploring the magnetic fields of the chromosphere, transition region and corona of the Sun via the interpretation of the Stokes profiles produced by optically polarized atoms and the Hanle and Zeeman effects in ultraviolet (UV), visible and near-infrared spectral lines. To this end, POLMAG will combine and expand expertise on atomic physics, on the quantum theory of radiation, on high-precision spectropolarimetry, on advanced methods in numerical radiative transfer, and on the confrontation of spectropolarimetric observations with spectral synthesis in increasingly realistic three-dimensional (3D) numerical models of the solar atmosphere.
POLMAG targets the following very challenging issues:
- Which are the optimum spectral lines for probing the magnetism of the outer solar atmosphere ?
- How to compute efficiently the Stokes profiles taking into account partial frequency redistribution, J-state quantum interference and the Hanle and Zeeman effects ?
- How to determine the magnetic, thermal and dynamic structure of the outer solar atmosphere through confrontations with spectropolarimetric observations ?
POLMAG will go well beyond the current state of the art as follows:
- Applying and extending the quantum theory of light polarization
- Developing and applying efficient radiative transfer codes
- Modeling the Ly-alpha and Mg II h & k observations of our CLASP suborbital rocket experiments
- Developing novel coronal magnetometry methods by complementing for the first time the information provided by forbidden and permitted lines
- Developing the plasma diagnostic techniques needed for the scientific exploitation of spectropolarimetric observations with the new generation of solar telescopes and putting them at the disposal of the astrophysical community
POLMAG will open up a new diagnostic window in astrophysics and we recognize the financial support of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 742265.
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In 1998, the journal Nature published a seminal letter concluding that the mysterious polarization signal that had been recently discovered in the light emitted by the sodium atoms of the solar atmosphere implies that the solar chromosphere (a very important layer of the solar atmosphere) is practically unmagnetized, in sharp contradiction with common wisdom. This paradox motivated laboratory experiments and theoretical investigations, which instead of providing a solution, raised new issues and even led some scientists to question the quantum theory of radiation-matter interaction. In anAdvertised on
The CLASP2 space experiment achieves an unprecedented map of the Sun’s magnetic field from the photosphere up to the base of the corona
Every day space telescopes provide spectacular images of the solar activity. However, their instruments are blind to its main driver: the magnetic field in the outer layers of the solar atmosphere, where the explosive events that occasionally affect the Earth occur. The extraordinary observations of the polarization of the Sun’s ultraviolet light achieved by the CLASP2 mission have made it possible to map the magnetic field throughout the entire solar atmosphere, from the photosphere until the base of the extremely hot corona. This investigation, published today in the journal ScienceAdvertised on