Observations and modeling of plasma flows driven by solar flares
Brannon, Sean Robert
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One of the fundamental statements that can be made about the solar atmosphere is that it is structured. This structuring is generally believed to be the result of both the arrangement of the magnetic field in the corona and the distribution of plasma along magnetic loops. The standard model of solar flares involves plasma transported into coronal loops via a process known as chromospheric evaporation, and the resulting evolution of the are loops is believed to be sensitive to the physical mechanism of energy input into the chromosphere by the are. We present here the results of three investigations into chromospheric plasma flows driven by solar are energy release and transport. First, we develop a 1-D hydrodynamic code to simulate the response of a simplified model chromosphere to energy input via thermal conduction from reconnection-driven shocks. We use the results from a set of simulations spanning a parameter space in both shock speed and chromospheric-to-coronal temperature ratio to infer power-law relationships between these quantities and observable evaporation properties. Second, we use imaging and spectral observations of a quasi-periodic oscillation of a are ribbon to determine the phase relationship between Doppler shifts of the ribbon plasma and the oscillation. The phase difference we find leads us to suggest an origin in a current sheet instability. Finally, we use imaging and spectral data of an on-disk are event and resulting are loop plasma flows to generally validate the standard picture of are loop evolution, including evaporation, cooling time, and draining downflows, and we use a simple free-fall model to produce the first direct comparison between observed and synthetic downflow spectra.