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Space Science Reviews

, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp 862–870 | Cite as

Hydromagnetics of the magnetosphere

  • H. Alfvén
Article

Abstract

Different models of the magnetosphere are discussed critically. It is pointed out that there is a principal difference between the case when the impinging interplanetary plasma has no initial magnetization, B0 = 0, (as in the Chapman-Ferraro theory), and the case when the plasma is initially magnetized, B0 ≠ 0, even if B0 is very small.

In the former case the plasma remains unmagnetized (like a superconductor) and cannot penetrate into the magnetosphere. Therefore the plasma is separated by a sharp boundary from the magnetosphere, (“closed magnetosphere” model).

In the latter case when the plasma is magnetized (which is more realistic) there is a possibility that field lines run from the earth to infinity (“open magnetosphere” model). Particles from the interplanetary space may penetrate into the magnetosphere. At the same time there may be a number of discontinuity surfaces of different character, such as the Cahill discontinuity.

It is important to make terrella experiments in order to study the complicated phenomena occurring when a magnetized plasma penetrates into a dipole field.

Keywords

Field Line Sharp Boundary Interplanetary Space Discontinuity Surface Principal Difference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Alfvén
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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