Waves of Solar Activity

  • M. R. E. Proctor
  • E. A. Spiegel
Part II Current stellar dynamo theory
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 380)


We develop a theory of the sunspot cycle predicated on the assumption that the observed bands of activity are packets of dynamo waves. An approximate equation is proposed to describe the dynamics of these packets, using standard ideas from bifurcation theory. We show that in a certain limit the system can be described in terms of a slowlyevolving solitary wave, and that periodic behavior, like that of the observed butterfly diagram, can easily be found. Generalizations of the theory are discussed.


Solar Activity Solitary Wave Solar Cycle Wave Packet Hopf Bifurcation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. E. Proctor
    • 1
  • E. A. Spiegel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of AstronomyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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