The solar dynamo, like those in other Sun-like stars, is a consequence of a complex system of currents sustained by rotation, MC, and turbulence. The toroidal and poloidal components of the dynamo-generated magnetic field exchange energy in a quasi-periodic way. This exchange process is non-linear and non-local; thus, developing a physical understanding of the fundamental ingredients of the solar dynamo is one of the greatest challenges in heliophysics. Our Themes focus on three essential aspects that require cross-cutting collaboration to make transformative progress for understanding the cause of solar activity: the Tachocline, Flux Transport & Emergence (FT&E), and the Near-Surface Shear Layer (NSSL).
The tachocline, a thin layer of rotational shear at the bottom of the convection zone, potentially holds the key to connecting the dynamo field that operates on large temporal and spatial scales with medium-scale features such as active region complexes and evolving zonal flows.
FLUX TRANSPORT & EMERGENCE
Flux transport and emergence (FT&E) throughout the convection zone connects the deep interior dynamo with magnetic field and flow patterns observed at and near the surface.
NEAR-SURFACE SHEAR LAYER
The near-surface shear layer (NSSL) filters and possibly creates many of the observed surface and near-surface convection and flux features; however, it is not well understood, and its role in the activity cycle is unclear.