Space physics
Umeå universitet

The solar radiation above the atmosphere is very intense, and contains a lot of energetic UV-light. The high-energy UV photons can ionize the athmospheric gases by knocking electrons out of the neutral atoms. Thus, many of the particles in space are electrically charged; positively charged ions and negative electrons. A gas of charged particles is called a plasma. As space scientists we analyze how plasmas interact with electric and magnetic fields in space.

Plasma from the Sun is constantly streaming out into space in the form of a solar wind. The solar wind is also blowing past the Earth, but thanks to Earth's magnetic field it will not come very close. Around the Earth a protecting magetosphere is formed. A main part of our work as space scientists is to understand what goes on in the magnetosphere, and also in magnetospheres around other planets. We use direct measurements in space, often from satellites. To interpret the data we build theoretical models and use computer simulations.

Research Projects

Ion heating
(Maria Hamrin, Patrik Norqvist)

The Auroral Generator Region
(Maria Hamrin, Kjell Rönnmark)

Theoretical Physics
Department of Physics
Umeå University
Last changed on January 20, 2006
Responsible for this page: Kjell Rönnmark