Astrophysical fluid dynamics with emphasis on convective dynamics and scale selection, turbulence, the excitation of the solar/stellar p-modes, and the origin of solar/stellar irradiance variations. Investigations range from studying highly simplified turbulent analogs based on point vortex motions to realistic radiative magnetohydrodynamics simulations, spectral synthesis, and spectropolarimetric inversions. Led the development of the Critical Science Plan for the National Solar Observatory's (NSO's) 4m solar telescope, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST). Recent work, focuses on contact statistics in random walks and turbulent flows and their implications for epidemiological modeling and the use of wavefront tracking for ultra high resolution helioseismology.
Rast, M.P. et al. 2021, "Critical Science Plan for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST),” SolPhys 296, 70.
Bahauddin, S.M. and Rast, M.P. 2021, "Identifying Acoustic Wave Sources on the Sun. I. Two-dimensional Waves in a Simulated Photosphere,” ApJ 915, 36.
Rast, M.P. 2022, "Contact statistics in populations of noninteracting random walkers in two dimensions," PhysRevE 105, 014103.
Agrawal, P., Rast, M.P., and Ruiz Cobo, B. 2023, "An Iterative OLA Method for Inversion of Solar Spectropolarimetric Data. I. Single- and Multiple-variable Inversions of Thermodynamic Quantities,” ApJ 944, 111.