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Tuesday 05 Oct 2021The importance of nonlinear physics in radiation belt modelling

Dr. Oliver Allanson - University of Exeter

Harrison 101 13:30-15:30


The Earth's Outer Radiation Belt is a region of near-Earth space containing high-energy charged particles that are trapped by the geomagnetic field, and it is very challenging to model these particle populations. Aside from being a very interesting and challenging physics problem, accurate modelling and prediction is important for safeguarding the operational satellites in orbit that underpin modern society. This places a growing reliance on forecasts such as those based on the model developed at the British Antarctic Survey (now being incorporated into the UK MET Office Space Weather suite via the “SWIMMR” UKRI SPF).


The dynamics of energetic charged particles within the radiation belts are determined by interactions with electromagnetic waves. Existing radiation belt modelling relies upon 'quasilinear' techniques that treat electromagnetic waves as having very small amplitudes. However, recent satellite datasets have demonstrated the prevalence of large amplitude (aka 'nonlinear’) electromagnetic waves. Understanding the impact of nonlinear waves on radiation belt particle populations is therefore an important question - and I hope to try and find some answers! In this talk I will give some review, and discuss recent and planned work.

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