DISCnet Students Profiles
Callum M Boocock - 2017 Entry
Queen Mary's University London (QMUL)
Solar coronal active region dynamics 3D modelling
I am a Physicist and a Mathematician with particular interests in fluid dynamics and nuclear science. These interests naturally drew me towards solar physics despite having not studied Astrophysics in any great detail during my undergraduate course. For my undergraduate degree I studied an MSci in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Durham and achieved First Class honours. For my Master's project I did
an experimental study of High-Temperature super conductors. Before starting my PhD I worked for a time in the nuclear sector. I now study plasma physics as part of my PhD at Queen Mary's Univerity in London.
As part of my PhD I analyse large data sets generated from high resolution 3D models of the solar corona. The code that generated these outputs solves the compressible Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations for plasma dynamics. As the code is highly CPU-intensive it is necessary to run the code in parallel over multiple HPC computing nodes.
The sun's corona, chromosphere, and photosphere. Credit: NASA.
What have you done in the first 6 months?
During the first 6 months of my PhD I have learnt to use highly parallel 2D and 3D MHD models on our local HPC cluster. I use IDL to display the outputs from these numerical codes using a variety of graphics, for example I can plot field lines and draw surface contours of the current density.
I have also attended various talks and conferences as well as DISCnet training courses that have all been very interesting and enjoyable. I have also begun teaching undergraduates which I find to be very fulfilling.
Within my research I have managed to recreate analytical results for the damping of magnetic waves (Alfven waves) in a novel magnetic field structure in 2D. My next goal will be to extend this simulation into three dimensions and test what effects this has on the wave dissipation. Following that will experiment with more realistic 3D field structures and investigate the effects of plasma compressibility on wave damping.
Why did you chose a DISCnet funded PhD?
I applied for the DISCnet CDT to build up my knowledge of advanced computing techniques and to build a network with other scientist working with big data. The training courses offered as part of the DISCnet CDT are beneficial in both of these aspects. Talking about big data analysis with observational astronomers also helps me to build links between my current work and observational work which I think is very important.
Keep up with Callum's research on his university profile.