The Earth's Magnetosphere as a Key to the Plasma Universe
2010 (English)In: Journal of Nepal Physical Society, Vol. 26, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In situ measurements in the Earth’s magnetosphere have led to a substantial and ongoing revision of our understanding of cosmic plasmas. The real cosmic plasmas behave in ways different than predicted by traditional idealized models in respects as fundamental as plasma dynamics, conduction of electric current and energization of charged particles. As almost all (known) matter in the Universe is in a state of magnetized plasma, this is an important basis for interpretation of astrophysical phenomena that are accessible only to remote observation. The magnetosphere contains plasma populations covering more than eight powers of ten in density and in equivalent temperature and is the venue of a number of fundamentally important plasma physical processes, which are studied in detail with space instrumentation. Ubiquitous features of cosmic plasmas are their ability to generate high energy particles and to rapidly release large amounts of magnetically stored energy. In these processes, as well as in plasma dynamics in general, a key role is played by the electric field, which is difficult or impossible to measure remotely. In the Earth’s magnetosphere it is accessible to in situ
measurements and even active experimentation. Of particular importance is the existence of magnetic-field aligned electric fields, which were considered non-existent on the basis of idealized models but have proved to play a key role both in acceleration processes and in plasma dynamics.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nepal Physical Society , 2010. Vol. 26, no 1, 1-16 p.
Magnetosphere, Solar wind, Cosmic plasma, Plasma universe
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-66440OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-66440DiVA: diva2:484042
Qc 201201272012-01-272012-01-262012-01-27Bibliographically approved