Solar Physics

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 235–242

Resolving the 180-degree ambiguity in vector magnetic field measurements: The ‘minimum’ energy solution

  • Thomas R. Metcalf

DOI: 10.1007/BF00680593

Cite this article as:
Metcalf, T.R. Sol Phys (1994) 155: 235. doi:10.1007/BF00680593


I present a robust algorithm that resolves the 180-deg ambiguity in measurements of the solar vector magnetic field. The technique simultaneously minimizes both the divergence of the magnetic field and the electric current density using a simulated annealing algorithm. This results in the field orientation with approximately minimum free energy. The technique is well-founded physically and is simple to implement.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Metcalf
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for AstronomyHonoluluUSA