12.05. 2014

SHOCK Workshop on Heliospheric Plasma Kinetics: Simulation vs. Data


The first SHOCK science workshop, titled “Heliospheric Plasma Kinetics: Simulation vs. Data”, was held May 12th-14th, 2014, at the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Florence, Arcetri, just outside Florence.
The workshop brought together about twenty scientists from the SHOCK project, together with about five guest speakers, to discuss the current status of results from the SHOCK project, and to look forward to new challenges. The relaxed atmosphere of the venue allowed time for stimulating conversations and planning of new collaborations.
A major theme of the workshop was turbulence in the solar wind. Observations show that the solar wind supports waves across a large range of length scales, from MHD (i.e. fluid) scales to kinetic scales such as the particle gyroradius. One of the major aims of the SHOCK project is to reveal the importance of these small scales, and to promote the use of simulations in analysing observations. Other themes from the project were also covered, such as novel simulation techniques for turbulence and magnetic reconnection, models of collisions in the solar wind, simulations of solar wind kinetic instabilities, and the solar wind interaction with Mercury. A major step forward for the project was the description of the recently released Virtual Mission Laboratory (VML) which is a web-based application allowing access to, and visualization of simulation data produced by the project. The VML is now available from the project home page (main website menu -> VML PORTAL).
The guest speakers included Roberto Bruno (Istituto Fisica Spazio Interplanetario, Rome) who discussed recent analysis of the frequency spectra of the solar wind magnetic field, and in particular the change in the spectra that are linked to the kinetics of protons. Luca Sorriso Valvo (LICRYL - INFM/CNR, Calabria) gave a review of the various, and varied, phenomena that can be found in solar wind turbulence, with an emphasis on the changes that are observed as one tries to look in more and more detail. That particular theme was continued by Christopher Chen (Imperial, London) who presented recent observations of solar wind density at high time resolution and at kinetic scales. Other guest speakers included Christian Mazelle (IRAP/CNRS, Toulouse) talking on Cluster observations of the Earth’s bow shock, Lorenzo Matteini (Imperial, London) who spoke on kinetic instabilities, and Stuart Bale (Berkeley, USA) and Marco Velli (JPL, USA) who spoke on the future Solar Probe Plus mission. PROGRAMME
State of the art computer simulations are increasingly revealing the central role played by kinetic plasma physics in all aspects of the Sun-Heliosphere system: solar wind heating and acceleration, interaction of the solar wind and planetary magnetospheres, shocks and particle acceleration. At the same time there is a growing repository of data sets from spacecraft missions.

The FP7 project SOLAR AND HELIOSPHERIC COLLISIONLESS KINETICS (SHOCK) aims to to provide a focus for the increased use of kinetic simulations in enhancing space data analysis for European Space Agency (ESA) missions such as Cluster, Cassini, Ulysses, Helios and Solar Orbiter, and also for international missions such as Themis, MMS, Solar Probe Plus, etc.

The workshop "SHOCK Workshop on Heliospheric Plasma Kinetics: Simulation vs. Data" will bring together members of the SHOCK consortium and experts in observational space plasma physics to explore collaborations for the extended use of modern simulations as a tool for enhanced data analysis.

Attendance is by invitation - please contact Prof. David Burgess if you are interested in attending.

Location & Venue
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Florence, Arcetri (Florence), Italy.
The workshop will be held in "Aula A", in the Garbasso Building of the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence.
This is located on the hill of Arcetri in Florence (see map). The address of the main gate is Largo Enrico Fermi 2, Florence, then you should walk or drive to the building at the top of the big old stairs that you will find shortly after the gate. Don't go too uphill to the Observatory, that is a long uphill walk to the wrong place. Stop at the Department! See map below.

We do not have the resources to book a hotel in Florence for you, all participants will have to book a hotel by themselves. Here we provide two lists of hotels in Florence (courtesy of the Arcetri Observatory):

For a list of Hotels in Florence city center look at

For a list of Hotels nearby the University of Florence check

Based on feedback from participants to other workshops we suggest:
http://www.hotelpittipalace.com/ a good hotel close to Ponte Vecchio,
http://www.sanfredianomansion.com/ a smaller and less expensive bed & breakfast.

If you can it is a good idea to share a taxi from the hotel with other participants to reach the workshop venue.

>  SHOCK Workshop programme

Attendance is by invitation only. Please the workshop organiser, Prof. David Burgess, if you are interested in attending.

Workshop fee
The fee for this two and a half day workshop is 130 euros to be paid by cash only on arrival on Monday 12th May in the morning. It will include refreshment breaks, lunches for the 2 days and the social dinner on Tuesday 13th May 2014. If you do not wish to stay for the dinner please let the workshop organiser know. Date: 12.05.2014 - 14.05.2014

Venue: University of Florence, Largo Enrico Fermi 2, 50125 Florence, Italy
  • 7
  • ERA
  • ESA
  • Queen Mary
  • CNRS
  • ASU
  • Sprinx systems
  • University of St. Andrews