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Group Member

Laura Hayes

PhD Researcher

Email: hayesla@tcd.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 896 2157

Bio

I graduated with a degree in theoretical physics from trinity college in 2014 and soon after joined the astrophysics research group. My interest in solar physics stems from an internship I did in the summer of third year of my undergraduate at NASA Goddard space flight centre in Maryland, USA. For this internship I worked with the solar physics group researching EUV (extreme ultraviolet) waves and worked in developing a wave detection algorithm in Python to further understand the full nature of the phenomena. I am now working in collaboration with this group to study solar flares, which are huge explosions on the surface of the sun. Outside studying the Sun, my interests include cycling, travelling and getting involved in STEM outreach.

Research

Solar flares are noted for the large amount of energy that is released in a relatively short time-scale, and although they have been observed for over a century they remain poorly understood. During a flare, the X-ray flux from the Sun can increase by several orders of magnitude and be accompanied by oscillations and pulsations in the flare emission. To date, the characteristics and origins of these pulsations remain unclear. My project aims to examine the red noise power spectrum of a sample of flares and to study time-varying phenomena such as quasi-periodic pulsations (QPP) in these solar flares in an aim to fully understand the root cause and nature of the QPP phenomena and by extension the fundamental process of flare energy release.