Dr Alexander Mackinnon
- Senior Lecturer (Physics & Astronomy)
I am an astrophysicist who works in University Continuing Education. My teaching and course development roles are outward-looking: on our Access programme; courses for the public; various science outreach activities. In research I am a member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics group.
Physics of solar flares; solar radio, X- and gamma-ray production; astrophysical particle acceleration and transport; neutron astronomy; self-organised criticality and complex systems.
University of New Hampshire (USA), Bern (Switzerland), Berkeley (USA), Meudon (France), Mackenzie University (Brazil)
Krucker, S., Hurford, G.J., MacKinnon, A.L. , Shih, A.Y. and Lin, R.P. (2008) Coronal gamma-ray bremsstrahlung from solar flare-accelerated electrons. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 678(1), L63-L66. (doi:10.1086/588381)
Yu, S., Hallinan, G., Doyle, J. G., MacKinnon, A.L. , Antonova, A., Kuznetsov, A., Golden, A. and Zhang, Z.H. (2011) Modelling the radio pulses of an ultracool dwarf. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525(A39), (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201015580)
Brown, J.C., Turkmani, R., Kontar, E.P. , MacKinnon, A.L. and Vlahos, L. (2009) Local re-acceleration and a modified thick target model of solar flare electrons. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 508(2), pp. 993-1000. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200913145)
STFC: Rolling Programme in Solar Physics, Stellar Physics and Cosmology; with J C Brown et al. (Physics and Astronomy); currently £1,317,847 (01/04/2008 - 31/03/2012)
PPARC (now STFC) Science and Society Scheme: Scottish School Science Curriculum Resources with the Bradford Robotic Telescope; with J C Brown (Physics and Astronomy); £7,800
I am happy to supervise research students in a variety of topics in plasma and high-energy astrophysics, primarily of the Sun and late-type stars. I am also interested to hear from people interested in complex systems (avalanche models, Self Organised Criticality, etc.).
Alec MacKinnon coordinates and teaches courses for the public in Astronomy, Physics and Computing. He helps to coordinate the Access programme which enables adults to enter higher education, particularly the Science component on which he also teaches Mathematics. He is involved in several other sorts of science outreach, often drawing on biography or history (see e.g. CTR Wilson, the cloud chamber and the discovery of cosmic rays).