The 2012 Heliophysics Summer School will focus on the science underlying current and future heliophysical missions, including but not limited to MMS, Themis, RBSP, IRIS, SDO, and Solar Probe Plus. After providing students with broad overviews of the solar atmosphere, the solar wind, the Earth’s magnetosphere, and ionosphere, the course will cover the basic concepts and unanswered questions pertaining to magnetic reconnection, shocks, plasma instabilities, turbulence, and heating, and the manner in which these concepts and questions affect our understanding of phenomena such as substorms, radiation belt and chromospheric dynamics, solar wind turbulence and particle heating, and heliospheric shocks.

The emphasis of the course will be on the quest for understanding and advancing heliophysical science that has inspired and motivated the missions mentioned above. The course will be based on lectures, laboratories, and recitations from world experts, and will draw material from the three textbooks Heliophysics I-III (, published by Cambridge University Press.

Approximately 35 students will be selected through a competitive process organized by UCAR VSP. The school lasts for seven days, and each participant receives travel support for air travel, lodging and per diem costs.

Successful candidates are:

  • Enrolled as a graduate student in any phase of training, or first or second year postdoctoral fellow, or beginning faculty in four-year liberal arts colleges.
  • Majoring in physics with an emphasis on astrophysics, geophysics, plasma physics, and space physics, or experienced in at least one of these areas.
  • Pursuing a career in heliophysics or astrophysics.