Advancing Theory and Modeling Efforts in Heliophysics

Fan Guo, Spiro Antiochos, Paul Cassak, Bin Chen, Xiaohang Chen, Chuanfei Dong, Cooper Downs, Joe Giacalone, Colby C. Haggerty, Hantao Ji, Judith Karpen, James Klimchuk, Wen Li, Xiaocan Li, Mitsuo Oka, Katharine K. Reeves, Marc Swisdak, Weichao Tu

Submitted on 8 September 2022


Heliophysics theory and modeling build understanding from fundamental principles to motivate, interpret, and predict observations. Together with observational analysis, they constitute a comprehensive scientific program in heliophysics. As observations and data analysis become increasingly detailed, it is critical that theory and modeling develop more quantitative predictions and iterate with observations. Advanced theory and modeling can inspire and greatly improve the design of new instruments and increase their chance of success. In addition, in order to build physics-based space weather forecast models, it is important to keep developing and testing new theories, and maintaining constant communications with theory and modeling. Maintaining a sustainable effort in theory and modeling is critically important to heliophysics. We recommend that all funding agencies join forces and consider expanding current and creating new theory and modeling programs--especially, 1. NASA should restore the HTMS program to its original support level to meet the critical needs of heliophysics science; 2. a Strategic Research Model program needs to be created to support model development for next-generation basic research codes; 3. new programs must be created for addressing mission-critical theory and modeling needs; and 4. enhanced programs are urgently required for training the next generation of theorists and modelers.


Comment: White paper submitted to Heliophysics 2024 Decadal Survey

Subjects: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Physics - Plasma Physics; Physics - Space Physics