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Exploring Secrets of the Aurora

By: Syun-Ichi Akasofu

246 pages, 20 col illus, 20 b/w illus


Paperback | Jul 2007 | Edition: 2 | #164935 | ISBN-13: 9780387450940
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NHBS Price: £70.99 $92/€78 approx

About this book

Prominent progress in science is inevitably associated with controversies. Thus, young researchers, in particular, have to learn how to persevere during the period of controversy and struggle for acceptance. Unfortunately, the skills needed are not taught in textbooks or monographs, which mostly describe the consensus of contemporary experts.

This book, which is based on my own experiences as a scientist, describes the history of the progress made in auroral science and magnetospheric physics by providing examples of ideas, controversies, struggles, acceptance, and success in some instances.

Although no general methodology (if any exists) is mentioned, I hope that the reader will learn about the history of progress in auroral science and examples (right or wrong) of dealing with the controversies.

From the reviews of the second edition: "Probably the book's most valuable contribution to the history of space physics is precisely the narration of the discovery of substorms.---The book has special features.---Akasofu's coverage of the history of pre-space age solar-terrestrial relations is the most comprehensive among books on the subject known to me.---It is a unique mix of science, history, philosophy, and exhortation." George Siscoe, Center for Space Physics, Boston University "The book documents the author's celebrated contributions to understanding the aurora spanning many decades and revolving around some of the most notable space scientists the discipline has produced. ! The author's personal remarks and views sprinkled throughout the book are enjoyable. ! Students who read this book will be amused and fascinated by the human side of the scientists ! . there are important messages from which scientists of all ages will benefit. ! all readers will find this book both fascinating and informative." (Robert M. Robinson, Eos, Vol. 89 (14), 2008) "Akasofu's book on the 'secrets of the aurora' is a somewhat unusual work, the like of which I am hard pressed to recall any direct parallel. ! at a deeper level, the central topic of Akasofu's book is Akasofu himself. ! It should be said, for those not familiar with the development of solar-terrestrial physics over this interval, that the significance of Akasofu's central personal contribution to this research field is not in doubt." (Stan Cowley, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)


Source of Figures. Preface. Prologue. 1. Search For The Unknown Quantity In The Solar Wind. 2. Confronting Paradigms: Aurora Research During The Early Space Age. 3. Realizing The Dream Of Our Pioneers: Polar Magnetic Substorms And The Associated Current System. 4. Is The Earth's Dipole Really Off-Centered And Inclined? Planetary Magnetic Fields. 5. Myth Of The Emerging Flux Tubes: Sunspots And Solar Flares. 6. Synthesis Of The Four Major Disciplines: Predicting Geomagnetic Storms As A Space Weather Project. 7. Beyond The Inner Heliosphere: The Magnetic Field Structure Of The Outer Heliosphere: A Three-Dimensional Model. Epilogue. Further Readings: Mostly Historical. Name Index. Index.

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