Rice University logo


Physics 510: Magnetospheric Physics


Course Outline

Magnetospheric structure: Magnetopause, bow shock, plasma sheet, ring current, radiation belts, plasmasphere and associated current systems

Ionosphere: Structure, Chapman theory, conductances

Solar wind interaction: Energy transfer processes, role of the solar wind and the ionosphere

Aurora: Types of aurora, acceleration processes

Storms and substorms: Definition, basic properties, relation to magnetic indices

Convection: Basic properties, theoretical foundations

Magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling: Basic properties, theoretical foundations

Magnetospheres of the other planets: Rotation dominated planets, ionosphere dominated planets



Lectures T Th 1:00 - 2:20 PM

Homework (50%)

Term exams, 2 (50%)

Text: R. Wolf, Physics of the magnetosphere (unpublished)

Other resources


All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.