The Alexander Chizhevsky Medal 2017

Doctor Elena Popova

The major scientific contribution of Elena Popova is in detailed modelling of the intricacies of solar magnetic activity as associated with generation and evolution of strong magnetic field in the solar interior and its temporal behaviour. Since the variability of the solar activity is the main agent of circum-terrestrial space weather, the work by Elena Popova in modelling the processes of generation and evolution of the magnetic field in the solar interior, provides an important add-on for understanding better the space weather and, mainly, space climate.

There are several outstanding scientific contributions by Elena Popova. She modelled the complex solar cyclicity analytically, taking into account the meridional flows in solar convective zone, which allow the better determination of the 22-years solar cycle. Moreover, she proposed the mechanisms of a double cycle, a triple cycle and the Grand minima. She analytically demonstrated that in the case of 2 spatially separated sources the dynamo waves are generated with eigen frequencies depending on the physical parameters of corresponding sources. Based on this finding, she estimated the required source parameters for the generation of non decaying waves.

Using the dynamo model with meridional circulation, she simulated geomagnetic inversion process and estimated GCR fluxes in the Earth’s magnetosphere and on its surface during the periods of the absence of the dipole field. The outcoming of this study is of significant importance since it gives insights in the past situation regarding particle radiation in the Earth’s environment. Popova has a Senior Research Position and has been the first author of many important scientific works in her field. She has been invited Researcher in the context of the Royal Society International Exchanges. She has also contributed to the writing of a Chapter of a book (Elsevier). Finally, her overall work, presented in 53 peer review journals, can be considered very important for space weather and space climate research, including also innovative (and potentially at risk) approaches.