Thermodynamics of Energy Balance
In this chapter we account for the energy of thermal agitation of the electrically charged species in the ionosphere. Such a study is necessary because, as we mentioned in Part 1, solar radiation prevents the ionospheric plasma from reaching thermodynamic equilibrium. We shall begin by recalling the nature and essential characteristics of the relevant processes of energy exchange. Next, we shall interpret the behavior of the electron temperature and ion temperature in the low- and mid- latitude regions, and shall try to show how the study of the energy balance of the charged particles contributes to the general improvement of our understanding of the photochemical ionosphere. Finally we will tackle the magnetospheric control of ionospheric temperatures and the dissipation of auroral energy inputs.
KeywordsHeat Input Electron Temperature Neutral Particle Solar Zenith Angle Chapter VIII
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