20402026 - PHYSICS OF THE IONOSPHERE AND PHYSICS OF THE MAGNETOSPHERE

Electromagnetic and corpuscular radiation of solar origin gives rise to complex interactions affecting the magnetosphere and the Earth's ionosphere. The magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth play a fundamental role in these interactions, in a space characterized by the presence of partially ionized plasma (weakly ionized gas): here the physics of the propagation of radio waves is very interesting.

The aim of the course is to present a selection of the most relevant physical phenomena that unfold in this complex environment, where man deploys sophisticated technological systems, on whose functioning the structures of contemporary society are increasingly dependent. Space Weather deals with problems resulting from disturbances in the circumterrestrial environment, in particular consequent to the deterioration of the radiopropagative conditions of the ionosphere.

The ultimate goal is to bring the student closer to the physics of phenomena, stimulating his interest in research in the sector and projecting him towards contemporary challenges to be met.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Mutuazione: 20402026 FISICA DELLA IONOSFERA E DELLA MAGNETOSFERA in Fisica LM-17 N0 SCOTTO Carlo

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Mutuazione: 20402026 FISICA DELLA IONOSFERA E DELLA MAGNETOSFERA in Fisica LM-17 N0 SCOTTO Carlo

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.

SCOTTO CARLO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Mutuazione: 20402026 FISICA DELLA IONOSFERA E DELLA MAGNETOSFERA in Fisica LM-17 N0 SCOTTO Carlo

Programme

Program of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and Magnetosphere"
prof. Carlo Scotto
Most of the topics are dealt in the book by G.W. Prölss ("Physics of the Earth's Space Environment", ed. Springer). Reference is made to the paragraphs of this book. The remaining topics are reported in the distributed Lesson Notes. The relevant detailed bibliography is shown in them.
Introduction: purpose of the course and presentation of the topics covered.

1. Notions of magneto-ionospheric plasma physics
Plasma frequency, Debye distance and Debye-Hückel potential, plasma conditions, free mean path, phase refraction index for radio waves in a plasma without collisions and in the absence of magnetic field, cold plasma (Lesson notes). (P. 232, § 7.3.1, § 7.3.2, § 7.3.3). Energy of the electromagnetic field (Lesson notes). Motion of electric charges in a magnetic field: gyration motion, the magnetic moment as an adiabatic invariant, motion where grad(B) is parallel to B, bounce motion (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, pp. 220-228), gradient drift motion (§ 5.3.2, pp. 228-229), neutral shift drift, drift E x B and plasma conductivity in the absence of collisions, drift under the action of external forces (§ 5.3.1, § 5.3.2, § 5.3.3 pp. 219-233).

2. The interplanetary medium.
The solar corona and the solar wind (§ 6.1 and 6.1.1, pp. 278-282, including all the references). Large-scale solar wind structure and on the ecliptic plane (§ 6.1.6). The interplanetary magnetic field: observations and physical characteristics (§ 6.2.1, pp. 300-304). The heliosferic current sheet (§ 6.2.4). Segment structure of the polar component of B (§ 6.2.5). Alfven's theorem (Appendix A.14, pp.484-487).

3. Magnetosphere
The geomagnetic field near the Earth (§ 5.2). Curvature drift (p. 233). Total drift (p. 234-235). Composed motion of charge carriers (§ 5.3.4). Particle populations in the internal magnetosphere: radiation belts, ring current, plasmashere (§ 5.4).
The distant geomagnetic field: configuration and classification, currents on the diurnal side of the magnetopause, reflection of the particles and formation of the current, system of currents in the geomagnetic tail (§ 5.5). Particle population in the external magnetosphere: magnetotail plasma sheet, magnetotail lobe plasma, magnetospheric boundary layer (§ 5.6). Formation of bow shock and the magnetosheat (§ 6.4 introduction and § 6.4.1, pp. 325-328).

4. Ionosphere
Absorption processes, gas radiation attenuation, energy deposition in the upper atmosphere: Chapman function. Earth ionosphere: historical outline, vertical profile of electron density, ionospheric temperature, production and disappearance of ionization, ionospheric regions, electronic equilibrium, vertical profile of electron density in E region and in region F2 region (§ 3.2; introduction of chap 4, § 4.1, § 4.2, § 4.3). Ionosphere morphology: the cusps on the ionogram trace and the ionospheric regions (Lesson notes). Regular variations of the ionosphere: layers E and F1 (Lesson notes). Irregular variations of the ionosphere: F2 layer (Lesson notes). Sporadic E layer(Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for regions E and F: F1 layer (Lesson notes). Simplified photochemical model for region D (Lesson notes). Refraction index for radio waves with collisions and in the absence of a magnetic field; interpretation of the imaginary part of the refractive index: absorption ( Lesson notes). Solar flares and short waves fadeout (Lesson notes). Additional notes on the F1 layer (Lesson notes). Additional notes on layer E (Lesson notes).

5. Magnetoionic theory
Introduction. Constitutive equations for a cold plasma with collisions and in the presence of a magnetic field (Lesson notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, neglecting collisions and considering the Earth's magnetic field: Appleton-Hartree equation (Lesson notes). Continuity of nf in X = 1. The zeros of the collisionless Appleton-Hartree equation: longitudinal, transverse and general propagation case (Lesson notes). Polarization: continuity in X = 1 in the general case and in the case of longitudinal propagation. Polarization in case of longitudinal propagation: dependence on the sign of YL. Polarization in general conditions, for X = 1 (Lesson Notes). Refractive index for radio waves in the ionosphere, considering collisions and the earth's magnetic field. Mention upon the polarization in the collisional case. Curves of mi(X) with collisions: importance of the Booker rule (Lesson notes). Conditions of reflection and ionograms, ordinary, extraordinary trace. Ray Z (Lesson Notes). Examples of ionograms (Lesson notes).
As indicated in the lesson notes, the material of this teaching unit can be found at: Ratcliffe, J. A. (1959), The magneto-Ionic Theory and its Applications to the Ionosphere, Cambridge University Press.

6. Absorption and dissipation of solar wind energy
Topology of the high polar atmosphere (§ 7.1). Electric fields, and plasma convection (§ 7.2). Conductivity and currents in the polar ionosphere (§ 7.3). Polar auroras: energy dissipation of the auroral particles, origin of the auroral particles, diffuse and discrete aurora(§ 7. 4). Solar Wind Dynamo (§ 7.6.1), open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.2), plasma convection in the open magnetosphere (§ 7.6.3), open magnetosphere with tail (§ 7.6.4), mention upon the reconnection (part of § 7.6. 5) Birkeland currents in regions 1 and 2 (§ 7.6.6).

7. Geospheric storms
Magnetic storms: regular variation, equatorial electroject, magnetic activity at low, high and medium latitudes, geomagnetic indexes (§ 8.1). Magnetic substorms: growth and expansion phase, Alvfèn waves and their role (§ 8.3). Ionospheric storms: negative and positive storms (§ 8.5).

Core Documentation

1) G.W. Prölss "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment"
2) Lecture Notes

Type of delivery of the course

The topics of the course of "Physics of the Ionosphere and the Magnetosphere", require the illustration of complex figures. They cannot be reproduced, in all cases, manually on the blackboard in an effective way. Therefore the projection of slides is necessary. Slides also have another function: they often show logical passages, through which we try to draw the student's attention on the salient points of the discussions, on the hypotheses of the reasoning, on the experimental data that are assumed and on what we intend to demonstrate. Once the slide has been projected, the discussion continues in a traditional way on the blackboard, even showin the necessary mathematical passages. Some topics that are theoretically on the textbook, are instead proposed in the form of an exercise or a problem. This creates the opportunity to assess whether the results obtained are plausible and to focus on the order of magnitude of the different physical parameters involved. An education visit is then usually carried out at the end of the course, to the laboratories of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Students are directly addressed to the magnetic and ionospheric data acquisition and processing systems, as well as the Space Weather services of the INGV. With the occasion, the services of other national and international institutions are also shown through the internet. The intention is to draw the students' attention to the applicative value of the concepts learned during the course, on the interest towards Space Weather, on the considerable investments that it recalls and on the fact that many international collaborations are active in this sector.

Attendance

The lessons are given by referring for the most part to Gerd's W. Prölss book "Physics of the Earth's Space Environment. The topics covered in the course, not included in this textbook, are summarized in the distributed lecture notes. These notes contain a precise bibliography. The study of the textbook and of the lesson notes, possibly deepened by the study of the bibliography, allows the student who has not followed the course to take the exam. It was not possible to have experience with students who did not follow the course: until now all the students who took the exam had followed the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is conducted in traditional oral form. The student is usually asked three questions on rather broad topics, treated in class, and explicitly reported in the program. The questions are asked in such a way as to allow a response with different degrees of depth, allowing the student to show the level of competence achieved on the requested subject. For each main question, subsequent questions can be asked to request clarifications. The subsequent questions are useful - above all - to understand if a possible too superficial exposure is due to a poor acquisition of skills or to an excessive desire for synthesis. The student is not required to perform exercises or problems during the oral exam, in addition to those discussed in class with, at the most, some minor variations.