University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Space Physics Seminar

Tuesday, February 24th 2015
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in 435 Physics
Speaker: Marc Palupa, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California-Berkeley
Subject: Measuring electrons in the solar wind: current status and future missions

Electrons are critical to the thermodynamics of the solar wind plasma. Due to their high mobility, they carry the majority of the heat flux in the solar wind. Electron beams can also be used as remote probes of the physics of shocks and solar flares. However, making accurate electron measurements is difficult: electrons are susceptible to spacecraft charging effects, and the non-thermal character of the electron distribution function limits the utility of plasma moment calculations. In this talk, I will present recent advances in precision measurements of solar wind electrons, and discuss their application to solar wind thermodynamics, shock acceleration of electrons, and electron heating associated with solar wind reconnection events. I will also discuss the measurement of electrons with particle and electric field instrumentation on the upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission.

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