Dr. Stuart D. Bale of the University of California, Berkeley spoke to MSRI’s Math Lovers Forum (mathlovers.msri.org) in March 2022. This event was hosted by Ashok & Gita Vaish and David Eisenbud.
The Origin and Structure of the Young Solar Wind: Parker Solar Probe ‘Touches the Sun
The NASA Parker Solar Probe mission has now made 11 orbits of the Sun and currently has its periapsis at 13.3 solar radii; its Keplerian speed at periapsis is nearly 160 km/s (~360,000 mph), the fastest ever human-made object. Parker Solar Probe was designed and implemented to crack the outstanding problem of coronal heating and the acceleration of the supersonic solar wind. I will describe our latest advances, including insights to the discrete sources of solar wind and the recent entry into the solar ‘magnetosphere’, where the expanding wind is still in causal contact with the Sun.
Stuart D. Bale received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1989 and 1994, respectively. After three years of postdoctoral work at Queen Mary College, University of London, he came to a research position at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at Berkeley. He joined the Physics faculty in 2004 and is the Director of SSL. He has held visiting appointments at the Observatoire de Paris, Meudon (Univ. Paris VII), LPCE/CNRS in Orleans, France, and the University of Sydney. He is a recipient of the 2003 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).