Module Information

Module Identifier
PH39510
Module Title
Ionospheres & Magnetospheres
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Pre-Requisite
PH38510 or approval by Degree Scheme Co-ordinator
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Professor Pete Vukusic (Professor - Exeter University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  80%
Semester Assessment Research Essay  20%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the vertical structure of the atmosphere in terms of the underlying physics.

2. Examine the physical processes governing the production and loss of ionisation in the ionospheric layers.

3. Outline the principles of propagation of radio waves in an ionised medium and from them derive the principles of radio sounding.

4. Analyse and relate the different methods of investigating ionospheric structure.

5. Describe the motion of particles in a magnetosphere.

6. Examine the Sun-planet coupling and infer how different regimes lead to very different planetary magnetospheres.

Aims


This module examines the physics of atmospheres, both neutral and ionised, and the interaction of their upper regions with both the planet's own magnetic field and the interplanetary magnetic field.

Brief description

This module examines the physics of atmospheres, both neutral and ionised, and the interaction of their upper regions with both the planet's own magnetic field and the interplanetary magnetic field.

Content

  • Vertical structure. Hydrostatic equilibrium and scale heights. Atmospheric layers.
  • Regions of ionospheres.
  • Ionisation production and loss mechanisms, Chapman layers. Transport of ionisation and its effects on vertical density structure.
  • Ionospheric chemistry and the physical basis of anticorrelations between electron temperature and density.
  • Ionospheric dynamics and the servo-theory of the F-region.
  • Experimental techniques: Radio wave propagation: plasma frequency, gyrofrequency, phase velocity, group velocity, refractive index. The Appleton- Hartreee equation and radio sounding. Scatter radars and transionospheric propagation methods.
  • High-Latitude Ionospheres and Magnetospheres.
  • Magnetospheric regions.
  • Magnetic field; dipolar and distorted.
  • Motion of charged particles; gyro, bounce and drift motion.
  • Solar wind-magnetosphere coupling; magnetic reconnection. Plasma convection.
  • Electric currents; Pedersen, Hall, field-aligned. High-latitude ionosphere coupling to Magnetosphere, auroral electrojets, substorms, aurora.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Throughout the module.
Communication Students will be expected to communicate a research topic in an essay
Improving own Learning and Performance Feedback via turnitin
Information Technology Use of internet materials and software.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be exposed to an area of application that they have not previously encountered.
Problem solving All situations considered are problem-based to a greater or lesser degree.
Research skills Students will be encouraged to consult various books and journals for examples and for the research essay.
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge of new material.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6