The Earth's Ionosphere, Volume 96

2nd Edition

Plasma Physics and Electrodynamics

Authors: Michael Kelley
Hardcover ISBN: 9780120884254
eBook ISBN: 9780080916576
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 5th May 2009
Page Count: 576
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introductory and Background Material
1.1 Scope and Goals of the Text
1.1.1 Historical Perspective
1.1.2 Organization and Limitations
1.2 Structure of the Neutral Atmosphere and the Main Ionosphere
1.3 D-Region Fundamentals
1.4 The Earth's Magnetic Field and Magnetosphere
1.5 Problem Set

Chapter 2 Fundamentals of Ionospheric and Magnetospheric Plasma Dynamics
2.1 The Basic Fluid Equations
2.1.1 Conservation of Mass
2.1.2 Equation of State
2.1.3 Momentum Equation for the Neutral Fluid
2.1.4 Momentum Equations for the Plasma
2.1.5 The Complete Equation Sets
2.2 Steady-State Ionospheric Plasma Motions Due to Applied Forces
2.3 Generation of Electric Fields
2.4 Electric Field Mapping
2.5 Elements of Magnetospheric Physics
2.5.1 The Guiding Center Equations and the Adiabatic Invariants
2.5.2 Magnetohydrodynamics
2.6 Are Ionospheric Electric Fields Real?
2.7 Coordinate Systems
2.8 Problem Set

Chapter 3 Dynamics and Electrodynamics of the Equatorial Zone
3.1 Motions of the Equatorial F Region: The Data Base
3.2 The Equatorial F-Region Dynamo
3.3 E-Region Dynamo Theory and the Daytime Equatorial Electrojet
3.4 Further Complexities of Equatorial Electrodynamics
3.4.1 The Prereversal Enhancement
3.4.2 High-Latitude Effects on the Equatorial Electric Field
3.5 Feedback Between the Electrodynamics and Thermospheric Winds
3.6 Mesospheric and Lower Thermospheric Dynamics
3.6.1 Atmospheric Winds in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere
3.6.2 A Primer on Turbulence and the Turbopause
3.7 Problem Set

Chapter 4 Equatorial Plasma Instabilities and Mesospheric Turbulence
4.1 F-Region Plasma Instabilities: Observations
4.2 Development and Initiation of Convective Ionospheric Storms (a.k.a. Equatorial Spread F)
4.2.1 Linear Theory of the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability
4.2.2 The Generalized Rayleigh-T


Although interesting in its own right, due to the ever-increasing use of satellites for communication and navigation, weather in the ionosphere is of great concern. Every such system uses trans-ionospheric propagation of radio waves, waves which must traverse the commonly turbulent ionosphere. Understanding this turbulence and predicting it are one of the major goals of the National Space Weather program. Acquiring such a prediction capability will rest on understanding the very topics of this book, the plasma physics and electrodynamics of the system.

Key Features

  • Fully updated to reflect advances in the field in the 20 years since the first edition published
  • Explores the buffeting of the ionosphere from above by the sun and from below by the lower atmosphere
  • Unique text appropriate both as a reference and for coursework


Researchers, students, and professionals. Appropriate for use in academic courses and professional development courses


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© Academic Press 2009
Academic Press
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About the Authors

Michael Kelley Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA