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EMIC waves in the Earth’s magnetosphere

February 22, 2016

  • Dr. Jichun Zhang
  • Space Science Center
  • Surge 117A
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • Faculty Host: Dr. John Black

Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves play an important role in the overall dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere. Particularly, these waves contribute to the energization and loss of magnetospheric particles. For instance, EMIC waves can interact with relativistic electrons in the radiation belts as well as energetic ions in the ring current, resulting in rapid scattering loss. In this talk, I will discuss the generation and propagation of EMIC waves and three crucial EMIC wave-associated plasma conditions: 1) hot anisotropic H+, which is the free energy provider of EMIC waves and serves as a necessary condition for the EMIC wave growth, 2) ion heating, which indicates the effect of the EMIC waves, and 3) cold dense plasma, which plays a catalytic role in the wave generation and affects the wave properties. Outstanding problems about EMIC waves and unprecedented opportunities to solve them with multi-point measurements from satellites and CubeSats will also be presented. 

Bio: Dr. Jichun Zhang received a Ph.D. degree in Atmospheric and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, His graduate research was to understand storm-time ring current sources through the analysis of satellite and ground-based measurements and the global modeling of the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere.  He took a postdoc position at Rice University and worked on the numerical simulations of particle injections into the inner magnetosphere. He is now a research assistant professor in the Space Science Center and Department of Physics at the University of New Hampshire, and has been involved into several space missions such as Cluster and Van Allen Probes. 

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