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Distribution of Electron Temperatures in Titan's Lower Ionosphere
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division. (IRF)
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The report contained herein is a statistical analysis of electron temperatures withinTitan’s lower ionosphere. Electron temperatures in this altitudinal range are of greatimport for researchers. The main contributing factors are investigated to see whatphysical processes are the sources of variability in electron temperatures. Oneimportant result from this analysis lends itself to determining recombinationcoefficients thus determining organic process rates occurring within Titan’satmosphere.

To accomplish this analysis, data from the Langmuir probe aboard the Cassini craft isutilized. The Langmuir probe is an instrument which can be used to measure currentdifferences in a plasma environment. From this, plasma properties such astemperature, density, and velocity can be calculated. It was named after IrvingLangmuir, whose theories became the basis for Orbit Motion Limited theory.

Of the possible factors that determine the variation in electron temperatures, altitudewas the most evident and largest contributor. Once the data had been reduced toremove the effect of altitude on the temperature, other factors such as latitude, solarzenith angle, and ram angle were investigated to ascertain which, if any, wasresponsible for variations in temperature. Upon completion of the analysis, it waslearned that ram angle also had an identifiable effect upon electron temperatures.

This effect was further investigated to ensure confidence in the results. Thecompletion of this part of the analysis showed that the effect shown with respect toram angle was indeed reproducible and that no other investigated factor had a majoreffect on electron temperatures. After the confidence procedure was completed,several previous studies findings were confirmed. These confirmed results include therelation of solar zenith angle with respect to both electron temperature distributionand density distribution, as well as a possible confirmation relating temperature anddensity for electrons.n/

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Titan, Ionosphere, Plasma Physics
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-194685OAI: diva2:606152
Educational program
Master Programme in Physics
2013-02-14, IRF Conference Room, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, UPPSALA, 12:39 (English)
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Available from: 2013-02-19 Created: 2013-02-18 Last updated: 2014-11-20Bibliographically approved

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