Space Plasma Physics: The Study of Solar-System Plasmas | National Academy of Sciences


Space Plasma Physics: The Study of Solar-System Plasmas from National Academy of Sciences is another now old (printed in 1979) free PDF that explores and explains the role of plasmas in our electric plasma universe.

The space age began exactly 20 years ago with the launch of Sputnik I and Explorer I. The Explorer spacecraft discovered regions of trapped radiation around the earth–the van Allen belts. This was the beginning of the study of particles and fields in space, or space plasma physics. A large part of the effort in the early years of the space program was devoted to the mapping of the magnetosphere, the measurements of time variations in particles and fields, and the exploration of the solar wind.

From these studies a sophisticated empirical knowledge of phenomena in space plasma physics has emerged. With the attainment of this observational maturity in the field, NASA funding for space plasma physics has declined as priorities have shifted to other exploratory ventures.

Content includes:

  • Kenetic Process in the Solar Wind
  • Shock Systems in Collisionless Space
  • Magnetic Field Reconnection
  • Plasma Processes in the Earth’s Radiation
  • Magnetospheric Plasma Waves
  • The Ionospheric Plasma
  • Understanding Plasma Instabilities in Space: Ionospheric Research and Communications Applications
  • Impacts of Ionospheric/Magnetospheric Processes on Terrestrial Science and Technology
  • Impacts of Solar System Environment on Man and Man on the Environment

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