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Electric currents in cosmic plasmas

Electric currents in cosmic plasmas Since the beginning of the century, physics has been dualistic in the sense that some phenomena are described by a field concept and others by a particle concept. This dualism is essential also in the physics of cosmic plasmas: some phenomena should be described by a magnetic field formalism, and others by an electric current formalism. During the first period of evolution of cosmic plasma physics the magnetic field aspect has dominated, and a fairly exhaustive description has been given of those phenomena, like the propagation of waves, which can be described in this way. We have now entered a second period, which is dominated by a systematic exploration of the particle (or current) aspect. A survey is given of a number of phenomena which can be understood only from the particle aspect. These include the formation of electric double layers, the origin of ‘explosive’ events like magnetic substorms and solar flares, and further, the transfer of energy from one region to another. A useful method of exploring many of these phenomena is to draw the electric circuit in which the current flows and to study its properties. A number of simple circuits are analyzed in this way. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reviews of Geophysics Wiley

Electric currents in cosmic plasmas

Reviews of Geophysics , Volume 15 (3) – Aug 1, 1977

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1977 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
8755-1209
eISSN
1944-9208
DOI
10.1029/RG015i003p00271
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the beginning of the century, physics has been dualistic in the sense that some phenomena are described by a field concept and others by a particle concept. This dualism is essential also in the physics of cosmic plasmas: some phenomena should be described by a magnetic field formalism, and others by an electric current formalism. During the first period of evolution of cosmic plasma physics the magnetic field aspect has dominated, and a fairly exhaustive description has been given of those phenomena, like the propagation of waves, which can be described in this way. We have now entered a second period, which is dominated by a systematic exploration of the particle (or current) aspect. A survey is given of a number of phenomena which can be understood only from the particle aspect. These include the formation of electric double layers, the origin of ‘explosive’ events like magnetic substorms and solar flares, and further, the transfer of energy from one region to another. A useful method of exploring many of these phenomena is to draw the electric circuit in which the current flows and to study its properties. A number of simple circuits are analyzed in this way.

Journal

Reviews of GeophysicsWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1977

References