The Mystery Behind Magnetic Explosions Explained

"The rate at which magnetic field lines reconnect is of extreme importance for processes in space that can impact Earth," said Yi-Hsin Liu, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth. "After decades of effort, we now have a full theory to address this long-standing problem."

Space enthusiasts and just about anybody who manages a power grid, an orbiting satellite, or a radiocommunications network has had their attention fixed on the sun since NASA reported "significant" solar flare activity last month. Yi-Hsin Liu, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy who recently published research on the physics behind solar flares, is among them. 

A new Dartmouth study published in Communications Physics provides the first theoretical description of how a phenomenon known as the "Hall effect" determines the efficiency of magnetic reconnection.

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