Instructional computing in space physics moves ahead

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Abstract

As the number of spacecraft stationed in the Earth's magnetosphere exponentiates and society becomes more technologically sophisticated and dependent on these spacebased resources, both the importance of space physics and the need to train people in this field will increase.

Space physics is a very difficult subject for students to master. Both mechanical and electromagnetic forces are important. The treatment of problems can be very mathematical, and the scale sizes of phenomena are usually such that laboratory studies become impossible, and experimentation, when possible at all, must be carried out in deep space. Fortunately, computers have evolved to the point that they are able to greatly facilitate instruction in space physics.

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