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A big challenge in solar and stellar physics in the coming years will be to decipher the magnetism of the solar outer atmosphere (chromosphere and corona) along with its dynamic coupling with the magnetic fields of the underlying photosphere. To this end, it is important to develop rigorous diagnostic tools for the physical interpretation of spectropolarimetric observations in suitably chosen spectral lines. HAZEL is a computer program for the synthesis and inversion of Stokes profiles caused by the joint action of atomic level polarization and the Hanle and Zeeman effects in some spectral lines of diagnostic interest, such as those of the He I 1083.0 nm and 587.6 nm (or D3) multiplets. It is based on the quantum theory of spectral line polarization, which takes into account in a rigorous way all the relevant physical mechanisms and ingredients (optical pumping, atomic level polarization, level crossings and repulsions, Zeeman, Paschen-Back and Hanle effects). The influence of radiative transfer on the emergent spectral line radiation is taken into account through a suitable slab model. The user can either calculate the emergent intensity and polarization for any given magnetic field vector or infer the dynamical and magnetic properties from the observed Stokes profiles via an efficient inversion algorithm based on global optimization methods.
PORTA solves three-dimensional non-equilibrium radiative transfer problems with massively parallel computers. The code can be used for modeling the spectral line polarization produced by the scattering of anisotropic radiation and the Hanle and Zeeman effects assuming complete frequency redistribution, either using two-level or multilevel atomic models. The numerical method of solution used to find the self-consistent values of the atomic density matrix at each point of the model’s Cartesian grid is based on Jacobi iterative scheme and on a short-characteristics formal solver of the Stokes-vector transfer equation that uses monotonic Bézier interpolation. The code can also be used to compute the linear polarization of the continuum radiation caused by Rayleigh and Thomson scattering in 3D models of stellar atmospheres, and to solve the simpler 3D radiative transfer problem of unpolarized radiation in multilevel systems. PORTA accepts/produces HDF5 input/output and offers an advanced graphical user interface.