The solar spicule forest and parallels with polymeric fluid jets excited in the laboratory
Piyali did her Masters and PhD in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. Her PhD thesis was on flux transport dynamos and solar cycle prediction. Subsequently she held postdoc positions at different places including TIFR (Mumbai), Nordita (Stockholm), HAO Boulder, and the University of Oslo between 2008-2015. Since 2015, she is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in Bengaluru.
Her primary interest is in the application of computational magneto hydrodynamics to the study of the Sun - from the solar interior to the corona including quiet sun as well as eruptive phenomena. Some of her recent contributions have been to show how delta sunspots can form, and flare repeatedly, releasing solar-like energies (Chatterjee et. al. 2016, Phys. Rev. Lett) and demonstrating the 4 ingredient criteria for generation of solar plasma jets called spicules (Dey et al. 2022, Nat. Phys.). However, lately, her interests have diversified into other astrophysical MHD domains including compact star dynamos and accretion disks.
Piyali is one of the developers and maintainers of the open source, MPI parallel radiative MHD code - the Pencil code hosted at GitHub. She also serves on the international Pencil code steering committee since 2019. She has incorporated new and insightful modules in the Pencil Code to make solar MHD simulations more realistic. The synthetic data from the such simulations can then be forward modelled to churn out observables which are directly measured by existing space instruments like Hinode/IRIS/AIA/HMI and hopefully VELC/SUIT instruments on board Aditya-L1 (India’s first solar mission to be launched in Aug, 2023). She also serves as a member of the VELC science team at IIA (which is the PI Institute for VELC coronagraph) and the broader Aditya Science working Group in India.