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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: August 2009

14 - On studying the rotating solar interior



Even the most casual of readers of this book will have noticed that the subject of the solar tachocline is highly controversial, in the best traditions of our science: we are all well aware that the tachocline constitutes an important physical structure in the solar interior, but we are not at all in agreement about any of the details. While this makes for a good deal of excitement – much in evidence both at the workshop and in this book – I did early on recognize that a straightforward summary of the workshop was therefore an impossibility; and my strong belief is that it is very premature for me to act as a ‘referee’ judging the merits of the various points of view expressed by my co-authors of this volume. This does not mean of course that I will not venture an opinion when appropriate – but it does mean that, in many cases, ex cathedra declarations of what is correct, and what is incorrect, are entirely premature.

For these reasons, I thought it would be more appropriate for me to step back from the fray, and to discuss some of the larger issues related to the tachocline, most especially those that I believe will play a key role in further developments of this subject; and to explain, whenever appropriate, why exactly it is that a definitive result remains to be obtained.