Attila GrandpierreKonkoly Observatory,
Presented at CSNSS'03.
Motto: "The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras, 459 BC
One of the basic questions of solar research is the nature
of the Sun. We show here how the plasma nature of the Sun leads to the self-generation of
solar activity. The release of magnetic, rotational, gravitational, nuclear energies and
that of the gravity mode oscillations deviate from uniformity and spherical symmetry.
Through instabilities they lead to the emergence of sporadic and localized regions like
flux tubes, electric filaments, magnetic elements and high temperature regions. A systematic
approach exploring the solar collective degrees of freedom, extending to ordering phenomena
of the magnetic features related to Higgs fields, is presented.
Handling solar activity as transformations of energies from one form to another one presents a picture on the network of the energy levels of the Sun, showing that the Sun is neither a mere "ball of gas" nor a "quiescent steady-state fusion-reactor machine", but a complex self-organizing system. Since complex self-organizing systems are similar to living systems (and, by some opinion, identical with them), we also consider what arguments indicate the living nature of the Sun. Thermodynamic characteristics of the inequilibrium Sun are found important in this respect and numerical estimations of free energy rate densities and specific exergies are derived.
solar physics, degrees of freedom, self-organizing complex systems, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, astrobiology
Full paper as pdf version.