Article

Solar Physics

, Volume 163, Issue 1, pp 193-203

First online:

A nonlinear RLC solar cycle model

  • J. M. PolygiannakisAffiliated withSection of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mechanics, Department of Physics, National University of Athens
  • , X. MoussasAffiliated withSection of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mechanics, Department of Physics, National University of Athens
  • , C. P. SonettAffiliated withDepartment of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

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Abstract

A simplified, monoparametric model, based on the Van der Pol nonlinear RLC electric oscillator, is found capable of describing the shape and related morphological properties (such as the Waldmeier effect) of the sunspot cycles. The model can also exhibit long periods of sunspot inactivity of the Maunder Minimum type. According to the model, the significant rise-to-fall time asymmetry of the most recent cycles suggests that it is unlikely that another cycle suppression will occur in the forthcoming decades. The complete sunspot record and the system's attractor are successfully emulated, given the sunspot number at cycle maxima.