Microphysics of Cosmic Plasmas: Background, Motivation and Objectives
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With the maturing of space plasma research in the solar system, a more general approach to plasma physics in general, applied to cosmic plasmas, has become appropriate. There are both similarities and important differences in describing the phenomenology of space plasmas on scales from the Earth’s magnetosphere to galactic and inter-galactic scales. However, there are important aspects in common, related to the microphysics of plasma processes. This introduction to a coordinated collection of papers that address the several aspects of the microphysics of cosmic plasmas that have unifying themes sets out the scope and ambition of the broad sweep of topics covered in the volume, together with an enumeration of the detailed objectives of the coverage.