© 2018

Characterizing Space Plasmas

A Data Driven Approach


Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. George K. Parks
    Pages 1-43
  3. George K. Parks
    Pages 45-89
  4. George K. Parks
    Pages 91-128
  5. George K. Parks
    Pages 129-189
  6. George K. Parks
    Pages 191-234
  7. George K. Parks
    Pages 235-296
  8. George K. Parks
    Pages 297-323
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 325-332

About this book


This didactic book uses a data-driven approach to connect measurements made by plasma instruments to the real world. This approach makes full use of the instruments’ capability and examines the data at the most detailed level an experiment can provide. Students using this approach will learn what instruments can measure, and working with real-world data will pave their way to models consistent with these observations. 

While conceived as a teaching tool, the book contains a considerable amount of new information. It emphasizes recent results, such as particle measurements made from the Cluster ion experiment, explores the consequences of new discoveries, and evaluates new trends or techniques in the field. At the same time, the author ensures that the physical concepts used to interpret the data are general and widely applicable. The topics included help readers understand basic problems fundamental to space plasma physics. Some are appearing for the first time in a space physics textbook. Others present different perspectives and interpretations of old problems and models that were previously considered incontestable. This book is essential reading for graduate students in space plasma physics, and a useful reference for the broader astrophysics community. 


space plasma modeling data-based interpretation of space plasma physics space plasma observations critical evaluation of space plasma observations kinetic interpretation of space plasmas understanding plasma instruments cluster ion experiment collisionless shocks solar wind magnetosphere kinetic plasma models

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

About the authors

Dr. George Parks is a research physicist in the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously held numerous other roles, including a professorship in the geophysics group at the University of Washington and a visiting scientist position at NASA. He has over 350 publications in refereed journals on topics such as auroral X-ray observations, plasmas in the radiation belt, plasma sheets, bow shocks, wave-particle interactions, and non-linear plasma physics. 

Bibliographic information