AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 10 Solar Studies
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[10.03] How reliable is the inversion of Stokes profiles?

M.T. McMillan (Northern Arizona University), K. Sankarasubramaniam, H. Uitenbroek (NSO/Sac Peak)

Numerical methods inversion methods are routinely used to obtain the structure of the magnetic field on the solar surface from observed spectra. These codes necessarily include appoximations of the magnetic field structure and the spectral line formation process, and make a trade-off between complexity and numerical expediency. To evaluate the accuracy with which magnetic field structure can be recovered under various assumptions we performed an accurate forward calculation of Stokes profiles from a two-dimensional cross section of a magneto-hydrodynamic simulation of solar convection. The calculated profiles were then analyzed with several different inversion codes and the recovered field strengths and orientations were then compared with the original values. We conclude that the results of Stokes profile inversions have to be treated the necessary skepticism, especially when complex field geometries are present.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mtm43@dana.ucc.nau.edu

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