Deb Baker (MSSL): What can observations of solar plasma composition tell us about physical processes occurring on the Sun?
Abstract: Elemental abundance variations are tracers of physical processes throughout the Universe, with the cosmic reference standard being the solar elemental composition. Knowledge of the Sun’s elemental composition underpins our understanding of the flow of mass and energy from deep in the interior, through the outer atmosphere, into the heliosphere. As the Sun’s outer atmosphere originates from the photosphere, it is not trivial that the elemental abundances of the photosphere and corona are different. Recent Hinode/EIS and SDO/EVE results suggest that the observed distribution and evolution of elemental composition are closely linked with the magnetic activity and heating processes in the Sun’s outer atmosphere. I will review the key results and show how variation in elemental composition may be used as a tracer of physical processes on the Sun.