Title: Alfven Wave Damping and Heating in the Solar Corona
Abstract: Understanding the heating of the solar corona has been considered one of the major problems in astrophysics for over 80 years. Wave-driven theories of coronal heating posit that photospheric convection generates plasma waves, particularly Alfven waves, which propagate along magnetic field lines into the corona where they are damped thereby transferring their energy to particle heating. Based on analyses of spectroscopic data, we have found that Alfven waves do carry sufficient energy to heat the corona and that the waves are damped efficiently at low heights. I will discuss our ongoing observational studies to understand the properties of solar Alfven waves as well as laboratory plasma experiments that aim to better understand the physics of Alfven wave damping in inhomogeneous plasmas similar to those in the solar corona.
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