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Ionospheres: Physics, Plasma Physics and Chemistry: Physics, Plasma Physics, and Chemistry

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Series: Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series

By: Robert W Schunk(Author), Andrew F Nagy(Author)

584 pages, b/w illus, 28 tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jun 2018 | Edition: 2 | #240541 | ISBN-13: 9781108462105
Available for pre-order: Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $66/€56 approx
Hardback | Aug 2009 | Edition: 2 | #182232 | ISBN-13: 9780521877060
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $136/€115 approx

About this book

This combination of text and reference book describes the physical, plasma and chemical processes controlling the behaviour of ionospheres, upper atmospheres and exospheres. It summarises the structure, chemistry, dynamics and energetics of the terrestrial ionosphere and other solar system bodies, and discusses the processes, mechanisms and transport equations for solving fundamental research problems.

This second edition incorporates new results, model developments and interpretations from the last 10 years. It includes the latest material on neutral atmospheres; the terrestrial ionosphere at low, middle and high latitudes and planetary atmospheres and ionospheres, where results from recent space missions have yielded fresh data. Appendices outline physical constants, mathematical formulas, transport coefficients and other important parameters for ionospheric calculations.

"This excellent book's utility as both a graduate-level textbook and reference book for active researchers fills a much-needed niche in presenting the expansive topic of ionospheric physics and chemistry."


1. Introduction
2. Space environment
3. Transport equations
4. Collisions
5. Simplified transport equations
6. Wave phenomena
7. Magnetohydrodynamic formulation
8. Chemical processes
9. Ionization and energy exchange processes
10. Neutral atmospheres
11. The terrestrial ionosphere at middle and low latitudes
12. The terrestrial ionosphere at high latitudes
13. Planetary ionospheres
14. Ionospheric measurement techniques

Appendix A. Physical constants and conversions
Appendix B. Vector relations and operators
Appendix C. Integrals and transformations
Appendix D. Functions and series expansions
Appendix E. System of units
Appendix F. Maxwell transfer equations
Appendix G. Collision models
Appendix H. Maxwell velocity distribution
Appendix I. Semilinear expressions for transport coefficients
Appendix J. Solar fluxes and relevant cross sections
Appendix K. Atmospheric models
Appendix L. Scalars, vectors, dyadics and tensors
Appendix M. Radio wave spectrum
Appendix N. Simple derivation of continuity equation
Appendix O. Numerical solution for F-region ionisation


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Robert Schunk is Professor of Physics and the Director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences at Utah State University. He is also a co-founder and the President of Space Environment Corporation, a small high-tech company in Logan, Utah. He has over thirty-five years of experience in theory, numerical modeling, and data analysis in the general areas of plasma physics, fluid mechanics, kinetics, space physics, and planetary ionospheres and atmospheres. He has been a Principal Investigator on numerous NASA, NSF, Air Force and Navy grants and has chaired many national committees, international organizations and review panels. Professor Schunk received the D. Wynne Thorne Research Award from USU in 1983, the Governor's Medal for Science & Technology from the State of Utah in 1988, gave the AGU Nicolet Lecture in 2002, is a Fellow of the AGU, and was inducted into the International Academy of Astronautics in 2006.

Andrew Nagy has been on the faculty of the University of Michigan since 1963, serving as a professor of Space Science and Electrical Engineering, Associate Vice President for Research (1987-1990), and Director of the Space Physics Research Laboratory (1990-1992). He has over forty years of experience in both theoretical and experimental studies of the upper atmospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres of the Earth and planets, and has been principal and co-investigator and interdisciplinary scientist on a variety of space missions. Professor Nagy has chaired or been a member of over 40 national and international committees and boards. He was President of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section of the AGU. He is a Fellow of the AGU, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, has given the AGU Nicolet Lecture (1998), and received the NASA Public Service Medal (1983) and the Attwood (1998) and the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards (2003) from the University of Michigan.

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