Professor of Physics and Space Sciences
Ming Zhang’s general research focus: Space weather, high-energy space radiation, interstellar medium, heliosphere, Earth magnetosphere
Current research funding: $1,436,519
What has you excited about your current research?
In order to know the environment that surrounds the Earth, we need to know how the Earth interacts with the sun and how the sun interacts with the galaxy. NASA and space agencies of other countries are sending many space missions to explore the space environment that consists of particles and electromagnetic fields. Working with scientists on missions such as Voyager, IBEX and STEREO, my research is a part of efforts to gain understanding of the fundamental physics hidden inside spacecraft measurements.
Why is it important to conduct research?
Our society is becoming more and more reliant on space technology. The operation of space missions, as well as commercial airlines, wireless communication, and even electricity distribution grid systems, can be adversely affected by space weather events originating from the sun. My research will eventually lead to reliable tools for forecasting space weather and effective methods for mitigating its hazards.