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Rast, Mark Peter Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Research interests include astrophysical fluid dynamics with emphasis on convective dynamics and scale selection, turbulence, the excitation of the solar/stellar p-modes, and the origin of solar/stellar irradiance variations. Investigations range from studying highly simplified turbulent analogs based on point vortex motions to highly realistic simulations of radiative magnetohydrodynamics, spectral synthesis, and spectropolarimetric inversions. Served as instrument scientist for the Precision Solar Photometric Telescope (PSPT) at Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) over its period of operation from 1999 to 2015, and current leads the Critical Science Plan effort for the National Solar Observatory's (NSO's) upcoming 4m solar telescope, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST).

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ASTR 1040 - Accelerated Introductory Astronomy 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Fall 2019
    Covers principles of modern astronomy summarizing our present knowledge about the Sun, stars, birth and death of stars, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, quasars, and the organization and origins of the universe. May require nighttime observing sessions at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Required in ASTR major/minor. Includes a recitation. Taught at a higher intellectual level including a significant amount of quantitative analysis. Same as ASTR 1020 and ASTR 1200.
  • ASTR 3760 - Solar and Space Physics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Explores the physical processes linking the Sun and planets, emphasizing solar radiative and particulate variability and the response of planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres. Topics include the solar dynamo, solar wind, coronal mass ejections, cosmic ray modulation, magnetospheres, aurora, the space environment, and climate variability. Recommended prerequisite: PHYS 3310. Elective for APS major and minor.
  • ASTR 5540 - Mathematical Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Presents an applied mathematics course designed to provide the necessary analytical and numerical background for courses in astrophysics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and radiation transfer. Topics include integration techniques, linear and nonlinear differential equations, WKB and Fourier transform methods, adiabatic invariants, partial differential equations, integral equations, and integrodifferential equations. Draws illustrative examples from the areas of physics listed above. Same as ATOC 5540.
  • ASTR 7500 - Special Topics in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Acquaints students with current research in astrophysical and planetary sciences. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.
  • ATOC 5540 - Mathematical Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Applied mathematics course; provides necessary analytical background for courses in plasma physics,fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and radiative transfer. Covers integration techniques, linear and nonlinear differential equations, WKB and Fourier transform methods, adiabatic invariants, partial differential equations, integral equations, and integrodifferential equations. Same as ASTR 5540.

Background

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