Flares constitute one of the most impressive manifestations of solar and stellar activity and flare emission is detected in all EM bands and variations in flux density of solar energetic particles. Often the EM radiation generated in solar and stellar flares shows a pronounced oscillatory pattern, with characteristic periods ranging from a fraction of a second to several minutes. These oscillations are referred to as quasi-periodic pulsations (QPPs), to emphasise that they often contain apparent amplitude and period modulation. The occurrence of QPPs puts constraints on the interpretation and understanding of the fundamental processes operating in flares, including magnetic energy liberation and particle acceleration. Therefore, in order to understand solar and stellar flares fully, we need first to reveal the secret signals hidden within.
Professor James McLaughlin FRAS is a solar physicist and applied mathematician, primarily interested in magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and solar data analysis. Professor McLaughlin is author of reviews ‘MHD wave propagation near coronal null points of magnetic fields’ (McLaughlin et al., 2011) and ‘Modelling Quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares’ (McLaughlin et al., 2018).