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4 - Magnetohydrodynamics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2009

Thomas E. Cravens
Affiliation:
University of Kansas
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Summary

In Chapter 3, we studied how single charged particles move in specified electric and magnetic fields, and we then applied our knowledge of single particle motion to the radiation belt and ring current plasma. However, the fields in some situations depend too much on the particle distributions to be readily specified and must be found self-consistently using the charged particle distribution functions. Often, it is not necessary to have complete information about the distribution functions in a system. In fact, it is usually sufficient to know only a few of the velocity moments of the distribution function, as derived in Chapter 2. In Chapter 4, we will adopt the “fluid” picture of a plasma, introduced in Chapter 2, and further refine it to obtain an analytical tool useful for studying space plasma phenomena. This analytical tool is called magnetohydrodynamics (or MHD for short). We cannot adequately cover in one chapter all the material that would be desirable to know about this subject and so the reader is encouraged to consult one or more of the references listed in the bibliography at the end of this chapter.

Two-fluid plasma

Let us consider a plasma consisting of two species: electrons (e) with mass me and a single ion species (i) with mass mi.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Thomas E. Cravens, University of Kansas
  • Book: Physics of Solar System Plasmas
  • Online publication: 26 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511529467.007
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  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Thomas E. Cravens, University of Kansas
  • Book: Physics of Solar System Plasmas
  • Online publication: 26 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511529467.007
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Thomas E. Cravens, University of Kansas
  • Book: Physics of Solar System Plasmas
  • Online publication: 26 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511529467.007
Available formats
×