Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

The birth of the concept of the Auroral Substorm
Syun Akasofu

The origin of the concept of the auroral substorm has its roots in the work of the pioneers of solar-terrestrial physics, such as Birkeland, Stormer, Chapman and Alfven. However, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958 was an epoch-making event regarding the development of auroral physics. For the first time, auroral scientists could observe auroral activity on a global scale. In 1958, I joined the Geophysical Institute as a graduate student of Sydney Chapman, who had been working on the main phase of geomagnetic storms for a long time. Together, we developed a theory on substorms that has endured more than three decades. After the advent of satellites, auroral studies advanced greatly; auroral substorms are now understood to be one of the manifestations of magnetospheric substorms, which turn out to be the cause of the main phase of geomagnetic storms. A new result (my final JGR paper just accepted for publication) will also be mentioned.

Friday, 19 February 2010
Globe Room, Elvey Building
3:45 PM