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Questions about Space Physics

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1
    I have a BS in physics and astronomy from 8 years ago and am now about to be given the opportunity to take some masters level physics classes as part of a physics teacher training program. After doing a historical survey type project on aurora borealis (for a history of science class) I feel I'm most interested in that field called "space physics", which includes the magnetosphere, cosmic rays, and such.

    -I'm wondering what books and courses can assist me in learning space physics. What are the standard texts? How are space physicists typically "made"?

    -Specifically, is a comprehensive understanding of plasma physics required, or just space plasmas?

    -Also, my degree didn't require a fluid dynamics course, and that also seems to be a huge part of space physics via magnetohydrodynamics.

    -I'm also wondering how much a part of geophysics that space physics is in general. The ionosphere seems to be "theirs" based on my superficial inquiries.

    -What mathematics is particularly in the spotlight for space physics (I'm assuming PDEs and complex analysis)?

    The master's classes wont count towards any degree and may even just be audited. It is mainly so I acquire a "specialty" area whose research I can follow in a sophisticated way. Some time in the future I may return for a formal master's in the subject if I am truly engaged in it.

    Thank you.

    Edit: also of course solar physics plays a big role. I guess I'm just confused about what to really dig the deepest into, solar, plasma, geo, MHD, etc. Or if I really even need to and can instead just persue "space physics" as its own thing.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2012 #2
    Hmm, is this a weird question? How can I rephrase this to get a response?
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