Divya Oberoi

My research has focussed on solar physics and interferometry techniques in the past few years. The bulk of my research work tends to be at the intersection of science and numerical analysis or techniques or is about harnessing the recent developments in technology and computing for meeting science goals which have remained elusive using the earlier generation of instrumentation and computing resources. Trying to extract the most information from the available data has been an enduring theme of my work. Along the frequency axis, my research interests have so far typically been at the low radio frequency end.


The radio Sun is very dynamic, especially at meter wavelengths. Its emission can not only change rapidly in time, it also has very strong spectral features and the morphology of the emission changes with both time and frequency. So, to study the radio Sun, one essentially needs a video camera which can simultaneously make independent movies at multiple different radio frequencies.


The above requirements have posed a tough challenge for traditional radio interferometers. Recently, with a new generation of instruments, like the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), now becoming available, this is changing. The MWA offers unprecedented capabilities for high dynamic range, high fidelity spectroscopic imaging with good time and frequency resolution over a wide band, and useful angular resolution to explore many interesting problems in solar physics which could be addressed only in a limited manner earlier due to lack of suitable data. This include:


1. Imaging studies of the origin and evolution of different types of solar bursts, especially type II and type III bursts.

2. Reliable studies of low radio frequency solar flux, spectral index and its variations over small and long time scales. These will in turn help understand scattering processes and micro turbulence in the corona.

3. A truly exciting possibility is about looking for missing contributions to the famous and long-standing coronal heating problem. I have been a part of the design, construction and commissioning team of the MWA from its inception, and play a leading role for solar science with this instrument.


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