A model for plasma transport in a corotation-dominated magnetosphere
Pontius, Duane Henry, Jr
Hill, Thomas W.
Doctor of Philosophy
The gross structures of the magnetospheres of the outer planets are decided by processes quite different from those predominant in that of the earth. The terrestrial plasmapause, the boundary beyond which plasma motion is principally determined by magnetospheric interaction with the solar wind, is typically inside geosynchronous orbit. Within the plasmasphere, rotational effects are present, but gravity exceeds the centrifugal force of corotation. In contrast, the Jovian plasmasphere extends to a distance at least twenty times farther than synchronous orbit, affording a large region where rotational effects are expected to he clearly manifest (Brice and Ioannidis, 1970). The goal of this thesis is to develop an appropriate theoretical model for treating the problem of plasma transport in a corotation dominated plasmasphere. The model presented here is intended to describe the radial transport of relatively cold plasma having an azimuthally uniform distribution in a dipolar magnetic field. The approach is conceptually similar to that of the radial diffusion model in that small scale motions are examined to infer global consequences, but the physical understanding of those small scale motions is quite different. In particular, discrete flux tubes of small cross section are assumed to move over distances large compared to their widths. The present model also differs from the corotating convection model by introducing a mechanism whereby the conservation of flux tube content along flowlines is violated. However, it is quite possible that a global convection pattern co-exists with the motions described here, leading to longitudinal asymmetries in the plasma distribution.
Plasma physics; Astronomy; Astrophysics