Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Online Cold-Plasma Seminars

A forum for discussions and knowledge-sharing, with the objective of advancing cold-plasma science in magnetospheric physics.


Join us for the virtual cold-plasma seminar series!

plasmasphere image

2024 Dates/Speakers
  • February 21st, Jeremy Dargent (virtual)
    Impact of cold ions on magnetic reconnection: reconnection rate and energy budget analysis
  • March 20th, Noora Partamies (virtual)
  • April 17th, Lauren Blum (virtual)
  • May 15th, Eric Donovan (in person)
  • June 19th, Oleksiy Agapitov (in person)
  • July 17th, Phil Erickson (TBD)
  • August 21st, Roger Varney (in person)
  • September 18th, Kareem Sorathia (virtual)
2023 Dates/Speakers
  • April 19th, Scott Thaller
    Relationship of the statistical Total Density, Electric Field, ExB flow, and Low Energy Ion Pressures on global and meso scales in the inner magnetosphere as observed by the Van Allen Probes
    Recorded Talk
  • May 17th, David Malaspina
    Plasma Imaging, Local measurement, and Tomographic experiment (PILOT), a Mission Concept Enabling Transformational Multi-scale Observations of Cold Plasma Dynamics in Earth's Magnetosphere
    Recorded Talk
  • June 21st, Yuri Shprits
    Ultra-relativistic Electrons in the Van Allen Radiation Belts (online talk only)
    Recorded Talk
  • July 19th, Louis Richard
    Fast Ion Isotropization by Current Sheet Scattering in Magnetic Reconnection Jets
    Recorded Talk
  • August 16th, Michael G. Henderson
    Coupling Between Intense Meso-Scale Auroral Streamer Structures, the Concurrent Generation of Giant Undulations and STEVE Emissions, and Intermixing of Cold and Hot Plasma Populations in the Dusk to Pre-Midnight Plasmapause Region
    Recorded Talk
  • September 21st, Allison Jaynes
    The role of cold plasma in diffuse-like auroral precipitation and M-I coupling
    Recorded Talk
  • October 18th, Dave Hartley
    Observations and Modeling of Cold Plasma Density, and How it Impacts Wave Dynamics and Measurements
    Recorded Talk
  • November 8th, Alex Glocer
    Studying the Origin of Near-Earth Plasma
    (Talk not recorded)
2022 Dates/Speakers
  • January 5, Brian Walsh
    Cold Magnetospheric Plasma and Dayside Coupling
    Recorded Talk
  • January 19, Jean-Francois Ripoll
    The electron plasma density measured by the Van Allen Probes
  • February 2, Jing Liao, Space Science Center at New Hampshire University
    Access of Ionospheric Ions to the Plasma Sheet
    Recorded Talk
  • February 16, Viviane Pierrard
    The dynamics of the plasmasphere and its links to the radiation belts
    (Seminar not recorded)
  • March 2, Richard Denton
    Measuring the Total Density in the Magnetosphere
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: gM4*=7Me
  • March 16, Naritoshi Kitamura
    On the relationship between energy input to the ionosphere and the ion outflow flux under different solar zenith angles
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: &jL7H&rf
  • April 20, John Lyon
    Multifluid Simulations of the Magnetosphere
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: &17trk2^
  • May 4, Jacob Bortnik
    The effects of cold plasma density on wave-particle interactions
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: 5^PKJP.%
  • May 18, Justin H. Lee
    On the need for more frequent cold ion measurements: Perspectives from investigating EMIC waves
    No Recorded talk
    June 1, Ying Zou
    Geospace Plume and Its Impact on Dayside Magnetopause Reconnection Rate
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: C1MYwqw&
  • June 15, Jörg-Micha Jahn
    When life gives you lemons: How to squeeze Van Allen Probes in situ particle observations beyond what you might have thought possible to learn about cold ions and global plasmasphere dynamics.
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: 5E*&NJk=
  • July 6, Dennis Gallagher
    Is Plasmasphere Erosion More Than One Thing?
    No recorded talk
  • July 20, Xiangning Chu
    Unraveling the mystery of plasmaspheric dynamics using machine learning approach
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: ?wZx7+Z0
  • August 3, Cecilia Norgren
    On the presence and thermalization of cold plasma in the reconnection exhaust
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: es$8&U.M
  • August 17, Dan Welling
    Global Consequences of Cold Plasma in the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere System
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: S?6atLm7
  • September 21, Toshi Nishimura
    Multi-Scale Density Structures in the Plasmaspheric Plume
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: 1^q64GDG
  • October 5, Rhyan Sawyer
    Low Energy Ions Within the Cusp: TRICE 2 Observations
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: 9V%tz6Fx
  • October 19, Lauren Blum
    The role of cold plasma in EMIC wave structure and evolution
  • November 2, Elena Kronberg
    Circulation of ionospheric ions and their impact on the magnetospheric dynamics
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: 6TDH+g62
  • November 16, Wen Li
    Whistler-mode Waves in the Earth’s Plasmasphere and Plumes and Their Effects on Energetic Electron Loss
2021 Dates/Speakers
  • June 2, Mats André, Swedish Institute of Space Physics
    Cold Ionospheric Ions in the Magnetosphere: Where They Are and What They Do
    (Seminar not recorded)
  • June 16, Rick Chappell, Vanderbilt University
    Ionospheric Ions as a Driver of the Dynamics of Substorms and Storms
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: BHn4?SHH
  • July 7, Jerry Goldstein, Southwest Research Institute
    Ions of the Plasmasphere, Trough, and Cloak
    (Seminar not recorded)
  • July 21, Maria Usanova, University of Colorado Boulder
    EMIC wave observations on the Van Allen Probes: recent results

    (Seminar not recorded)
  • August 4, Densheng Han, Tongji University
    Dayside diffuse Aurora and the cold-plasma structuring

    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: @S=^To0@
  • August 18, Mike Hartinger, Space Science Institute
    Relationship between ULF wave power and plasma density: THEMIS observations and numerical simulations
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: =4mmG9LK
  • September 22, Joe Huba, Syntek Technologies
    High Resolution Ionosphere/Plasmasphere/Thermosphere Modeling Studies: Plasmasphere Ducts/Irregularities
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: D5.?R92&
  • October 6, Sergio Toledo-Redondo, University of Murcia, Spain
    Impacts of ionospheric-originating ions on magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause and magnetotail
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: U2pr.L41
  • October 20, Jonathan Krall, Naval Research Laboratory
    Ring-current heating of the ionosphere/plasmasphere and related H+ and O+ outflows
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: @0+PH#u9
  • November 3, Raluca Ilie, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
    How the outflowing ionospheric N+ is altering the near-Earth cold plasma dynamics
    (Seminar not recorded)
  • November 17, Natalia Buzulukova, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Warm plasma population in the inner magnetosphere: what we know and do not know so far
    Recorded Talk
    Passcode: *?0@Nk99
  • December 1, Naomi Maruyama, University of Colorado Boulder
    Physical modeling of journey of cold plasma populations in geospace
    (Seminar not recorded)

Each seminar in the series takes place at
12:00 – 13:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
(4-5 p.m. Universal Time Coordinated, 5-7 p.m. Central European Summer time)

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The Earth’s magnetosphere comprises multiple ion and electron populations with a broad range of energies, from the sub-eV particles of the ionosphere to the relativistic particles of the radiation belts. These diverse particle populations are co-located and interact through a variety of processes, including various plasma waves.

While the warm (ring current/plasma sheet) and hot (radiation belts) populations have received a lot of attention in part because of their potential harm to space infrastructure, the cold populations (with energy less than ~100 eV) are the least studied and in some cases have been referred to as the ‘hidden populations’. This is because spacecraft are typically charged to levels that make measuring the cold plasma properties very difficult and sometimes impossible. For electrons, an additional complication is that spacecraft surfaces exposed to sunlight and bombarded by energetic particles emit secondary electrons with energies comparable to those of the cold electrons of the environment that can completely dominate the detector measurement.

However, the cold plasma has a strong impact on many phenomena that are critical to the dynamics of the near-Earth environment, both locally and globally. Examples include

  • the cold plasma being the source of hot magnetospheric plasma
  • solar-wind/magnetosphere coupling
  • tail reconnection and substorm dynamics
  • wave-particle interaction physics,
  • plasmasphere/plasmasheet interactions
  • structuring of the pulsating aurora.

Given the sparsity of measurements and the generally poor understanding of the cold populations, it is plausible that other impacts not yet known might exist. In all, this leaves a major gap in our understanding of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system.