The solar wind: acceleration mechanisms, turbulence and heating
The study of mass loss from the Sun due to the solar wind relies principally on observations from space, both "remote-sensing", using instruments for UV and EUV
images of the solar disk and white light and UV coronographs, as well as via "in situ" measurements of characteristic parameters (velocity, magnetic and electric field, density, temperature). The measurements are necessarily supported by the analysis of theoretical models and by the comparison with the results of high precision numerical simulations.
The Italian community is constantly involved in all the phases of the above mentioned study, both in the development of instruments on-board satellites and numerical codes, as well as data analysis and theoretical modeling. The magnetic turbulence in the solar wind has a decisive influence on the processes that transport energetic particles into interplanetary space. In turn, the transport influences the acceleration processes, like stochastic acceleration and so-called "diffusive shock acceleration".