Space Science Reviews

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 443-456

First online:

Viscous-type processes in the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction

  • Charles J. FarrugiaAffiliated withSpace Science Center, University of New Hampshire
  • , Fausto T. GrattonAffiliated withInsituto de Física del Plasma, CONICET and, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • , Roy B. TorbertAffiliated withSpace Science Center, University of New Hampshire

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A debate of long standing concerns the role viscous interactions play in magnetospheric dynamics. Is it minor or is it central to, e.g., drive the low latitude boundary layer on closed field lines and account for the substantial level of wave activity seen on the flanks? Newer data and theoretical considerations leave little doubt that viscous coupling is important. The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is a major protagonist in fostering momentum transfer. Closer studies of the state of the flank magnetosphere will help to resolve the issue.