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24 August 2005 The Reconnection and Microscale (RAM) probe
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Hot magnetized plasmas - typified by the solar corona - are ubiquitous throughout the universe. The physics governing the dynamics of such plasmas takes place on remarkably small spatial and temporal scales, while both the cause activity and the response occur on large spatial scales. Thus both high resolution and large fields of view are needed. Observations from SMM, Yohkoh, EIT and TRACE show that typical solar active region structures range in temperature from 0.5 to 10 MK, and up to 40MK in flares, implying the need for broad temperature coverage. The RAM S-T Probe consists of a set of imaging and spectroscopic instruments that will enable definitive studies of fundamental physical processes that govern not only the solar atmosphere but much of the plasma universe. Few problems in astrophysics have proved as resistant to solution as the microphysics that results in the production of high-energy particles in hot magnetized plasmas. Theoretical models have focused in recent years on the various ways in which energy may be transported to the corona, and there dissipated, through the reconnection of magnetic fields. Theory implies that the actual dissipation of energy in the corona occurs in spatially highly localized regions, and there is observational support for unresolved structures with filling factors 0.01 - 0.001 in dynamic coronal events.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Leon Golub, Jay A. Bookbinder, Edward E. DeLuca, and Judith T. Karpen "The Reconnection and Microscale (RAM) probe", Proc. SPIE 5901, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation, 590113 (24 August 2005);


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