Solar Physics

, Volume 255, Issue 2, pp 301–323 | Cite as

Analysis of Sunspot Activity Cycles

Article

Abstract

A nonlinear analysis of the daily sunspot number for each of cycles 10 to 23 is used to indicate whether the convective turbulence is stochastic or chaotic. There is a short review of recent papers considering sunspot statistics and solar activity cycles. The differences in the three possible regimes – deterministic laminar flow, chaotic flow, and stochastic flow – are discussed. The length of data sets necessary to analyze the regimes is investigated. Chaos is described and a chronology of recent results that utilize chaos and fractals to analyze sunspot numbers follows. The parameters necessary to describe chaos – time lag, phase space, embedding dimension, local dimension, correlation dimension, and the Lyapunov exponents – are determined for the attractor for each cycle. Assuming the laminar regime is unlikely if chaos is not indicated in a cycle by the calculations, the regime must be stochastic. The sunspot numbers in each of cycles 10 to 19 indicate stochastic behavior. There is a transition from stochastic to chaotic behavior of the sunspot numbers in cycles 20, 21, 22, and 23. These changes in cycles 20 – 23 may indicate a change in the scale of turbulence in the convection zone that could result in a change in the convective heat transfer and a change in the size of the convection region for these four cycles.

Keywords

Sunspots Activity cycles Chaos Convective heat transfer 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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