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Warwick physicist picks up top award for world-leading research

ValeryUniversity of Warwick solar physicist Professor Valery Nakariakov has received a top award from the Institute of Physics (IOP) for his ground-breaking research.

Described by the IOP as “a truly exceptional scientist”, Prof Nakariakov is a pioneer of theory and observation of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves on the Sun and he has been handed the Payne-Gaposchkin medal and prize.

His leadership and major contribution to the discovery of MHD wave activity of the solar corona has led to transformative changes in the understanding of the solar atmosphere and to the creation and successful implementation of a new branch of solar physics, MHD coronal seismology.

MHD seismology seeks to use the properties of observed oscillations to deduce the physical properties of a plasma, such as the magnetic field strength or the effective resistivity, which are otherwise very difficult to estimate.

The IOP describes his work as crucial both in laboratory plasmas and also in the solar corona, where recent new satellite observations have presented a major challenge to solar theorists.

“It is to his credit that he has taken up the challenge and produced a series of fundamental papers that have laid the groundwork for current and future understanding,” said an IOP statement.

Prof Nakariakov said: “I am sincerely honoured to receive this prestigious medal and prize. This award is a generous token of appreciation of the research undertaken by my team for the last 15 years at Warwick.

“I would like to thank all my collaborators and research students who contributed to this achievement and I hope we continue to make progress in this exciting field going forward.

“This award will be very stimulating for the further development of solar physics research at Warwick.”

Prof Nakariakov’s many achievements include: observational discovery of transverse oscillations of coronal plasma loops; theoretical prediction and subsequent discovery of sausage oscillations in flaring loops; determination of the energy transfer channels in the solar atmosphere; discovery of quasi-periodic pulsations in solar gamma-ray emission, and the first seismological estimation of the coronal magnetic field absolute value.

Note to Editors:

Issued by Lee Page, Communications Manager, University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:

PR139 1/7/15


Lee Page

Communications Manager, University of Warwick

Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255

Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221