Numerical Simulations on the Magnetopause Current Layer

  1. Gordon R. Wilson
  1. H. Okuda

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM062p0009

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Okuda, H. (1991) Numerical Simulations on the Magnetopause Current Layer, in Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes (ed G. R. Wilson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM062p0009

Author Information

  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08543

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900285

Online ISBN: 9781118663905

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Keywords:

  • Space plasmas—Mathematical models—Congresses;
  • Magnetosphere—Mathematical models—Congresses

Summary

One-dimensional particle simulations are carried out in order to study the current layer between a plasma and a magnetic field such as seen at the magnetopause boundary layer. When a subsonic solar wind plasma flow impinges upon a vacuum dipole magnetic field, the width of the current layer is found much smaller than the ion gyroradius and is close to theoretically predicted geometric mean of the ion and electron gyroradii. The width remains essentially the same when the magnetic field is filled with a thermal plasma whose density is smaller than the incoming solar wind density. The width, therefore, remains much smaller than the ion gyroradius. It is found that a similar sharp current layer develops in a plasma confined in a magnetic field such as seen in laboratory and space plasmas.