Tuija Pulkkinen

Professor & Chair, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering


Tuija Pulkkinen


I work with the Space Weather Modeling Framework, which is a software tool to couple several models describing (in my case) the different plasma-physical processes in the near-Earth space. The aim of our research group is to use the simulations to understand the dynamic evolution of the plasmas and electromagnetic fields as driven by solar variability. The fundamental science questions concern magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration, and wave-particle interactions in tenuous, non-thermalized, fully collisionless plasmas. The societal importance arises from the space weather hazards the fields and high-energy particle fluxes pose on spacecraft, the communication and positioning errors and disruptions that arise between ground and spacecraft, and the harm on ground-based power systems and other infrastructure sensitive to electromagnetic fields.

Simulation of the electric currents and magnetic field lines

A simulation of the electric currents and magnetic field lines from the Space Weather Modeling Framework. The Sun is to the left, and the solar wind distorts the Earth’s dipolar field to a long comet-like tail that extends in the antisunward direction (image credit Austin Brenner).

Research Areas

Solar-Terrestrial Science
Space Weather Modeling