In 2012, I was in graduate school at the University of Colorado studying astrophysics. My research focused on simulating the highly nonlinear hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic processes operating in the interior of the Sun. In particular, I was interested in the magnetorotational instability (which is widely celebrated in accretion disk theory), and whether it might be operating in the near-surface shear layer of the Sun, redistributing angular momentum into the rotation profile we observe with helioseismology. I ran a series of massively parallel simulations on the Janus supercomputer to investigate this possibility, which culminated in the defense of my master's thesis in December of 2012.

 

Linear onset of the magnetorotational instability in the NSSL.

 Meridional (top) and radial (bottom) cross-sections of Case A (the pure MRI case) in three stages.

Meridional (top) and radial (bottom) cross-sections of Case A (the pure MRI case) in three stages.