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Astrophysics Physics Of Space Plasmas: An Introduction, 2nd Ed, by George Parks

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  1. Feb 22, 2013 #1


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    • Author: George Parks
    • Title: Physics Of Space Plasmas: An Introduction
    • Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Of-Space-Plasmas-Introduction/dp/0813341299/
    • Prerequisities: Introductory physics, modern physics, calculus through PDEs, E&M, introductory astrophysics/astronomy (basically three years of a Physics BS program)
    • Contents: Undergraduate, upper level; Graduate, introductory

    Table of Contents

    Code (Text):
    1 Electrodynamics in Space
     1.1  Introduction
     1.2  Solar and Stellar Winds
     1.3  Interplanetary Magnetic Field
     1.4  Interplanetary Electric Field
     1.5  Solar and Stellar Activities
     1.6  Collisionless Shock Waves
     1.7  Magnetospheres of Cosmic Bodies
     1.8  Magnetospheres of Planets
     1.9  Heliosphere and Heliopause
     1.10 Comparative Magnetospheres
    2 Equations and Definitions
     2.1  Introduction
     2.2  Maxwell Equations
     2.3  Lorentz Equation of Motion
     2.4  Statistical Concepts
     2.5  Statistical Equations
     2.6  Electrodyanmics in Special Theory of Relativity
     2.7  Electrodynamics in General Relativity
     2.8  Charged Particles in Space
     2.9  How to Study Plasma Phenomena in Space
    3 Magnetic and Electric Fields in Space

     3.1  Introduction
     3.2  Representations of Magnetic Fields
     3.3  Magnetic Fields in Space
     3.4  Inhomogeneous Magnetic Fields
     3.5  Rotational Magnetic Fields
     3.6  Spinning Magnetic Dipoles
     3.7  Representations of Electric Fields
     3.8  Electric Field of Rotating Dipoles
     3.9  Plasmasphere and Plasmapause
     3.10 Concluding Remarks
    4 Particles in Space
     4.1  Introduction
     4.2  Discovery of Earth's Radiation Belt
     4.3  Lorentz Equation of Motion
     4.4  Guiding Center Drift Equations
     4.5  Motion in an Inhomogeneous Magnetic Field
     4.6  Motion in Inhomogeneous Electric Field
     4.7  Motion in Time-Dependent Magnetic Field
     4.8  Motion in Time-Dependent Electric Field
     4.9  Ponderomotive Force
     4.10 Summary of Guiding Center Drifts and Currents
     4.11 Adiabatic Invariants
     4.12 Trapped Particles in the Magnetosphere
     4.13 Earth's Radiation Belt Particles
     4.14 Motion of Trapped Particles in Non-Dipole Field
     4.15 Particles in Magnetic Neutral Regions
     4.16 Concluding Remarks
    5 Magnetohydrodynamic Equations and Concepts
     5.1  Introduction
     5.2  General Concepts of Fluid Dynamics
     5.3  One-Fluid Magnetohydrodynamic Equations
     5.4  Magnetic Field and MHD Fluids
     5.5  Ideal MHD Fluid (σ = ∞)
     5.6  Limitations of Ideal MHD Theory
     5.7  Flow of MHD Fluid
     5.8  Derivation of Momentum Equation
     5.9  Maxwellian Plasma
     5.10 Restrictions of MHD Fluids
     5.11 Concluding Remarks

    6 Planetary and Stellar Winds and Interplanetary Magnetic Field
     6.1  Introduction
     6.2  Static Neutral Atmosphere
     6.3  Ionospheres
     6.4  The Sun and Solar Wind
     6.5  Chapman's Static Solar Wind Model
     6.6  Parker's Fluid Solar Wind Model
     6.7  Kinetic Models of Solar Wind
     6.8  Interplanetary Magnetic Field
     6.9  Interplanetary Current Sheet
     6.10 Concluding Remarks
    7 Currents in Space
     7.1  Introduction
     7.2  Currents in Plasmas
     7.3  Diamagnetic Current
     7.4  Ring Current in Magnetospheres
     7.5  Currents in Plasmas Including Collisions
     7.6  Currents in Ionospheres
     7.7  Field-Aligned Currents
     7.8  Magnetic Tail Currents
     7.9  Concluding Remarks

    8 Boundaries in Space
     8.1  Introduction
     8.2  Basic Equations and Assumptions
     8.3  Closed and Open Boundary Models
     8.4  Continuity of Momentum and Energy
     8.5  Equations of MHD Discontinuities
     8.6  Test of Theory
     8.7  Theory of Boundary Layer
     8.8  Kinetic Formulation of Boundaries
     8.9  Concluding Remarks

    9 Waves in Space
     9.1  Introduction
     9.2  Electromagnetic Waves in Space
     9.3  Basic Equations and Concepts
     9.4  Electrostatic Waves
     9.5  Kinetic Theory of Electrostatic Waves
     9.6  Electrostatic Solitary Waves in Space
     9.7  Electromagnetic Waves
     9.8  Whistlers in Earth's Magnetosphere
     9.9  Kinetic Theory of Electromagnetic Waves
     9.10 Cyclotron Resonance Theory
     9.11 Theory of Auroral Kilometric Radiation
     9.12 Magnetohydrodynamic Waves
     9.13 Concluding Remarks

    10 Shocks in Space
     10.1  Introduction
     10.2  Basic Concepts and Definitions
     10.3  Steeping of MHD Waves
     10.4  Shock Waves in Ordinary Fluids
     10.5  MHD Shocks
     10.6  Acceleration of Particles at Shocks
     10.7  Foreshock Particles Structure and Waves
     10.8  Structure of Weak MHD Shocks
     10.9  Kinetic Formulation of Schocks
     10.10 Concluding Remarks

    11 Instabilities in Space
     11.1  Introduction
     11.2  Classification of Instabilities
     11.3  Methods of Instability Analysis
     11.4  MHD Instabilities
     11.5  Tearing Mode Instability
     11.6  Magnetospheric Substorm Instability
     11.7  Unanswered Questions
     11.8  New Spacecraft Observations
     11.9  Concluding Remarks


    A  Useful Constants and Units

    B  Average Plasma Properties of Earth's Environment

    C  Useful Vector and Tensor Formulas
     C.1  Vector Operations
     C.2  Change of Variables
    D  Magnetic Indices
     D.1 A[SUB]E[/SUB] Index
     D.2 K[SUB]P[/SUB] Index
     D.3 D[SUB]st[/SUB] Index

    From Publisher
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2013 #2


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    I am only familiar with the first edition. I found it in the university library while I was taking intro plasma physics and found that it was a great resource - plus I was mostly interested in space plasmas so it was a nice supplement to the required books (intro plasma physics by Chen, and Intro plasma theory by Nicholson). In particular, I recall gaining some insight on the guiding center approach to single particle motion, as well as a nice development of the double adiabatic theory equations of state - with more insight than my professor. I also like Parks' easy discussions of basic MHD, and how he gives you some understanding of where the MHD model comes from.

    I like how the book is mostly organized according to specific physical ideas: fields in space, particles in space, currents in space, etc. It help provide a unified view of the physics. In the first edition the chapters on waves and instabilities left something to be desired - the instabilities chapter was particularly weak. Hopefully the second edition has improved them. On the other hand, I liked his presentation about shocks. In addition to the basic theory the book presents a fair amount of data - mostly from spacecraft in the Earth's magnetosphere. I recall reading a good section on substorms as well.

    This book works well along side the book by Kivelson and Russel. Parks is more rigorous in most sections and presents a more unified view of plasma physics, while K&R presents a lot of phenomenology and presents more unified views of things like regions of the magnetosphere. In some sense, Parks is mostly a plasma physics book that strongly emphasizes space physics, while K&R is a space physics book that presents basic plasma physics as needed along the way. I personally like Parks much more, but they both serve a purpose.

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