Updated model represents the magnetosphere anisotropically



The physical interactions that occur in the magnetosphere, from the collisions of high-energy particles in the ring current to the exchange of energy between the solar wind plasma and the electrons of the radiation belts, are explained by complex nonlinear physics. These physical dynamics are anisotropic processes—that is, the interactions are directionally dependent. Computer simulations of the magnetosphere, however, generally represent the physics isotropically—without considering the direction of the interaction. Isotropic calculations are less computationally expensive than anisotropic representations, but the simplification can lead to reduced model accuracy.