Resonant Waves in the Terrestrial Magnetosphere
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Waves in the mHz frequency range are a prominent feature in the terrestrial magnetosphere. In this frequency range the waves have wavelengths comparable to the lengths of the geomagnetic field lines. The waves are then standing waves along closed field lines with endpoints in the southern and northern ionosphere. Waves play an important role in the distribution of energy in the magnetosphere and mHz waves can accelerate electrons to MeV energies and have been proposed as a driver of auroral arcs. They can also be used as a diagnostic tool for determining the plasma density. There are two important classes of these low frequency waves. One has large azimuthal wavelength and is usually associated with driving mechanisms outside the magnetosphere, such as the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability at the magnetopause. The other has small azimuthal wavelength and is associated with plasma instabilities inside the magnetosphere. Both types of waves are studied in this thesis with an emphasis on the small azimuthal wavelength waves. For the type of wave with large azimuthal wavelength there is however, a considerable debate about the driving mechanism. One recently suggested driver is coherent magnetohydrodynamic waves in the solar wind. Part of this thesis studies this experimentally and we conclude that, at least on some occasions, this driving mechanism come into play. The Cluster satellites are used to study the morphology of the waves. We demonstrate the ability of Cluster to determine the azimuthal wave number of the waves and also how the structure along the magnetic field lines can be determined. This gives information regarding the harmonic number of the standing waves, which in turn says something about the driver of the waves. We also look at possible excitation mechanisms for the small azimuthal wavelength waves.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , xi, 45 p.
Trita-ALP, ISSN 1103-6613 ; 2005:05
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-400ISBN: 91-7178-105-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-400DiVA: diva2:10321
2005-09-12, Seminarierummet, Teknikringen 31, Stockholm, 13:00
QC 201011292005-08-252005-08-252010-11-29Bibliographically approved
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