As a member of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre at the University of Sheffield, I currently research in solar magnetohydrodynamic waves under the supervision of Prof. Róbert von Fáy-Siebenbürgen. I have previously completed research in meterology and photovoltaics.

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Solar Magnetohydrodynamic waves

Waves are a ubiquitous feature of the magnetically dominated solar atmosphere. This is continually demonstrated with ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution observations of ground- and space-based solar telescopes.

Magnetohydrodynmics (MHD) is the mathematical study of the motion of electrically conducting fluids and provides an appropriate mathematical framework to study many solar structures because the Sun is made up of plasma, which, due to atom dissociation, is electrically conducting.

My interest in solar MHD waves stems from:

  1. their potential for large scale energy transport from the cool solar surface to the extremely hot atmosphere, and
  2. their use in magneto-seismology: estimating parameters such as the magnetic field strength which are difficult or impossible to measure accurately using traditional methods.

Previous research


Aussie heat low

The effect of the Coriolis force is to give a moving object a force perpendicular to its velocity. This rotational effect introduces some interesting phenomena such as Rossby waves which are large-scale atmospheric waves that oscillate around the globe which can break, causing violent cyclones. Rossby wave breaking has been linked to extreme weather events in Australia.

During a visit to Monash University, I worked with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science to assess and compare the simulation of a large area of low pressure in central Australia caused by intense heating. We showed how crucial the lower boundary conditions are to the accurate simulation of this heat low; in particular, how parameters such as the soil moisture content and surface albedo have a significant influence on the precipitation cycle that is interwoven into the formation of the heat low. This research allows scientists to improve global climate models for inproved climate predictions in the future. See publications section.


I am interested in renewable energy alternatives and have previously completed research into optimising the geometry of photovoltaic panels, using analytical and numerical methods, to determine whether alternative curved geometries would increase the incident radiation gathered by a planar geometry.



  1. Allcock, M., and Erdélyi, R., 2018. Solar Magnetoseismology with Magnetoacoustic Surface Waves in Asymmetric Magnetic Slab Waveguides, The Astrophysical Journal, 855(2):90, 10 pages.
  2. Noémi Kinga Zsámberger, Allcock, M., and Erdélyi, R., 2018. Magneto-acoustic Waves in a Magnetic Slab Embedded in an Asymmetric Magnetic Environment: The Effects of Asymmetry, The Astrophysical Journal, 853(2):136, 13 pages.
  3. Allcock, M., and Erdélyi, R., 2017. Magnetohydrodynamic Waves in an Asymmetric Magnetic Slab, Solar Physics, 292:35, 20 pages.
  4. Allcock, M., and Ackerley, D., 2016. Representing the Australian Heat Low in a GCM Using Different Surface and Cloud Schemes, Advances in Meteorology, vol. 2016, Article ID 9702607, 16 pages.

Also see ResearchGate and OrcID.


Conferences, workshops, and seminars

I often get lost at conferences and seminars when presenters jump straight into their research without context or motivation, so I always include a introduction to the context of my research within the broader field. As a visual learner, I make use of videos and images to most effectively portray an idea.


  • Nervously presenting some results from my Masters research project at the National Astronomy Meeting in 2016.
  • Illustrating at the European Solar Physics Meeting in 2017 how my theoretical work on asymmetric MHD waves can be used to approximate the strength of the magnetic field in structures in the solar atmosphere - something that is traditionally very difficult to do.

Below is a list of the conferences, workshops, and significant seminars I have attended and/or contributed to.

Date Event Venue Contribution
15/11/18 ESPOS (European Solar Physics Online Seminar) University of Sheffield (live streamed) Slides, Talk recording
3-7/09/18 BUKS 2018: Waves and Instabilities in the Solar Atmosphere La Laguna, Tenerife Poster
11-15/06/18 EST Science Meeting Giardini Naxos, Sicily
17/04/18 Faculty of Science Showcase University of Sheffield Poster
26-28/03/18 UKMHD/BAMC 2018 University of St. Andrews Talk
12/01/18 RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: Wave-based heating mechanisms in the solar atmosphere RAS lecture theatre, Burlington House
10/11/17 Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) seminar University of Sheffield Talk
27/09/17 Applied Mathematics Seminar University of Sheffield Talk
4-8/09/17 15th European Solar Physics Meeting Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary Talk
28-1/08/17 STFC Advanced Summer School in Solar System Physics 2017 University of Central Lancashire Talk
3-6/07/17 National Astronomy Meeting 2017 University of Hull
19-21/04/17 UKMHD conference Durham University Talk
16/02/17 School of Mathematics and Statistics postgraduate student seminar University of Sheffield Talk
4-9/09/2016 STFC Advanced Summer School in Solar System Physics 2016 University of Sheffield
28-2/09/2016 STFC Introductory Course in Solar System Plasma Physics 2016 University of St. Andrews
28/06/2016 National Astronomy Meeting 2016 University of Nottingham Talk
11-15/01/2016 OpenAstronomy - Software Carpentry Workshop University of Sheffield
11/12/2015 Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) seminar University of Sheffield Talk
17/02/2015 Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Showcase University of Sheffield Poster

Public outreach

Date Event Venue Contribution
17/05/17 Pint of Science The Holt Cafe, Sheffield Talk


At the University of Sheffield, I am involved with teaching for the following undergraduate courses:

  • MAS115 Mathematical Investigational Skills (Python, R, Latex, and html programming; mathematical writing) - assistant tutor and marker, Mar 2016 - present,
  • MAS112 Vectors and Mechanics (Projectile motion; circular motion; mathematical models based on first and second order differential equations) - assistant tutor and marker, Sept - Dec 2017,
  • MAS153/159 Mathematics for Chemistry (set theory; calculus; limits; differential equations, etc.) - assistant tutor and marker, Sept 2015 - Dec 2015.