Space Plasma Theory

coronal mass ejection

About Us

The Space Plasma Theory Group covers the theoretical aspects of space science, in particular in the areas of solar, magnetospheric and heliospheric physics. This research typically falls within two main categories:

This group concentrates on theoretical studies related to the sun, with emphasis on the solar corona, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the heliosphere. Major research areas include particle acceleration and transport throughout the heliosphere, and the heating and acceleration of the solar plasma. The group seeks to understand basic plasma physical processes such as magnetic reconnection, the nonlinear evolution of waves, and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, and the roles those processes play in observed solar phenomena.

The Theoretical Plasma Physics Group uses analytical and numerical methods to address a wide spectrum of problems of relevance to space, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas. Germaschewski is involved in fundamental research on magnetic reconnection with applications to magnetospheric substorms, solar coronal heating and flares, and magnetic island dynamics in fusion plasmas. Raeder's research focuses on the global modeling of Earth's magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere system to study the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's space environment. Besides the basic research aspect -- understanding the plasma interaction of planetary magnetospheres -- this research has practical applications in the area of space weather, examining harmful effects on technological systems such as satellites or power grids.

Faculty and Research Staff:
Benjamin Chandran
Terry Forbes
Phil Isenberg
Marty Lee
Noé Lugaz
Sergei Markovskii
Bernie Vasquez

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Gen Li
Bin Zhuang