Rapid Fluctuations in Solar Flares,
STANFORD UNIV CA CENTER FOR SPACE SCIENCE AND ASTROPHYSICS
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Study of rapid fluctuations in the emission of radiation from solar flares provides a promising approach for probing the magnetoplasma structure and plasma processes that are responsible for a flare. It is proposed that elementary flare bursts in X ray and microwave emission may be attributed to fine structure of the coronal magnetic field, related to the aggregation of photospheric magnetic field into magnetic knots. Fluctuations that occur on a sub-second time scale may be due to magnetic islands that develop in current sheets during magnetic reconnection. The impulsive phase may sometimes--or possibly always--represent the superposition of a large number of the elementary energy release processes responsible for elementary flare bursts. If so, one faces the challenge of trying to explain the properties of the impulsive phase in terms of the properties of the elementary processes. For instance, if the impulsive phase produces a power law energy distribution of energetic particles, this may be due to scaling laws governing the elementary processes rather than to power-law accelerations in the each elementary event.