Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is a combination of fluid mechanics and electromagnetics concerned with the motion of electrically-conducting liquids and gases in the presence of a magnetic field. Examples of technical applications are electric power generation, electromagnetic pumping and propulsion as well as control of moving molten metals. MHD research at Thayer School is concerned with the high-speed flow of tenuous, ionized gas from the Sun past the Earth's magnetic field. The research is fundamental in nature but also contributes to the development of a national space-weather forecasting capability. This capability is important for the safe operation of manned spacecraft and a variety of communications, global-positioning, and defense satellite systems, as well as for protection against geomagnetically-induced electric power outages on Earth.
Faculty contact: William Lotko