Magnetospheric Plasmas

  • A. D. M. Walker
Part of the Physics and Chemistry in Space Planetology book series (SPACE, volume 24)


Above an altitude of a few hundred kilometers all the matter in the geospace environment is in the plasma state. Its dynamics are governed by the interaction between the earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind. The region over which the geomagnetic field is a dominant influence is called the magnetosphere. It was the subject of an intensive collaborative effort during the International Magnetospheric Study (IMS) and many results of that program are summarized in [121]. The waves which are the subject of this book appear throughout the region. We set the stage with a brief descriptive account of the formation and structure of the magnetosphere and the types of wave which can exist in each region. In such a brief account it is only possible to outline the chief features. It must be recognized that the region is still the subject of intensive study and controversy; it is not possible to be dogmatic about many of the processes that are so confidently outlined below! Much more detail is given in, for example, [47, 37, 76].


Solar Wind Field Line Plasma Sheet Radiation Belt Cold Plasma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. M. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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