Solar flares are driven by the release of magnetic energy from reconnection events in the solar corona, whereafter energy is transported to the chromosphere, heating the plasma and causing the characteristic radiative losses. In the collisional thick-target model, electrons accelerated to energies exceeding 10 keV traverse the corona and impact the chromosphere, where they deposit their energy through collisions with the much denser plasma in the lower atmosphere. While there are undoubtedly high energy non-thermal electrons accelerated in flares, it is unclear whether these electron beams are the sole mechanism of energy transport, or whether they only dominate in certain phases of the flare's evolution. Alfv\'enic waves are generated during the post-reconnection relaxation of magnetic field lines, so it is important to examine their role in energy transport.
|Type||Next Generation Solar Physics Mission White Paper|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Feb 2017|