Solar Physics

, 292:100 | Cite as

Nonequilibrium Processes in the Solar Corona, Transition Region, Flares, and Solar Wind (Invited Review)

  • Jaroslav Dudík
  • Elena Dzifčáková
  • Nicole Meyer-Vernet
  • Giulio Del Zanna
  • Peter R. Young
  • Alessandra Giunta
  • Barbara Sylwester
  • Janusz Sylwester
  • Mitsuo Oka
  • Helen E. Mason
  • Christian Vocks
  • Lorenzo Matteini
  • Säm Krucker
  • David R. Williams
  • Šimon Mackovjak
Invited Review


We review the presence and signatures of the non-equilibrium processes, both non-Maxwellian distributions and non-equilibrium ionization, in the solar transition region, corona, solar wind, and flares. Basic properties of the non-Maxwellian distributions are described together with their influence on the heat flux as well as on the rates of individual collisional processes and the resulting optically thin synthetic spectra. Constraints on the presence of high-energy electrons from observations are reviewed, including positive detection of non-Maxwellian distributions in the solar corona, transition region, flares, and wind. Occurrence of non-equilibrium ionization is reviewed as well, especially in connection to hydrodynamic and generalized collisional-radiative modeling. Predicted spectroscopic signatures of non-equilibrium ionization depending on the assumed plasma conditions are summarized. Finally, we discuss the future remote-sensing instrumentation that can be used for the detection of these non-equilibrium phenomena in various spectral ranges.


Energetic particles, Electrons Flares, Energetic particles Spectral line, Theory Spectral line, Intensity and diagnostics Solar wind, Theory Spectrum, X-ray 



The authors thank the anonymous referee for numerous improvements to the manuscript. The authors also acknowledge useful discussions with M. Battaglia, P. Heinzel and A. Zemanová. J.D. and E.Dz. authors acknowledge support by Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, Grant No. 17-16447S, and institutional support RVO:67985815 from the Czech Academy of Sciences. G.D.Z. and H.E.M. acknowledge funding from STFC. J.D., G.D.Z., and H.E.M. acknowledge funding from Royal Society via the Newton Alumni programme. P.R.Y. acknowledges support from NASA grant NNX15AF25G. A.G. acknowledges the in-house research support provided by the STFC. B.S. and J.S. acknowledge support from the Polish National Science Centre grant 2013/11/B/ST9/00234. M.O. was supported by NASA grant NNX08AO83G at UC Berkeley. L.M. was supported by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council grant ST/K001051/1. The authors benefited greatly from participation in the International Team 276 funded by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland. CHIANTI is a collaborative project involving the University of Cambridge (UK), the George Mason University (USA), and the University of Michigan (USA). ADAS is a project managed at the University of Strathclyde (UK) and funded through memberships universities and astrophysics and fusion laboratories in Europe and worldwide.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Astronomical InstituteCzech Academy of SciencesOndřejovCzech Republic
  2. 2.CNRS, PSL, LESIAObservatoire de ParisMeudonFrance
  3. 3.DAMTPUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  4. 4.College of ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  5. 5.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  6. 6.Northumbria UniversityNewcastle Upon TyneUK
  7. 7.STFC Rutherford Appleton LaboratoryChilton, DidcotUK
  8. 8.Space Research Centre (CBK PAN)WarsawPoland
  9. 9.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  10. 10.Leibniz-Institut für AstrophysikPotsdamGermany
  11. 11.Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  12. 12.University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern SwitzerlandWindischSwitzerland
  13. 13.ESACEuropean Space AgencyMadridSpain
  14. 14.Institute of Experimental PhysicsSASKošiceSlovak Republic

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