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

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
  • 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

  • July 21, Maria Usanova, University of Colorado Boulder
    EMIC wave observations on the Van Allen Probes: recent results

  • 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
  • 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 cold plasma populations in the ionosphere, plasmasphere and magnetosphere

2022 Dates/Speakers

  • January 5, Brian Walsh
  • January 19, Jean-Francois Ripoll
  • February 2, Lynn Kistler
  • February 16, Viviane Pierrard

Each seminar in the series takes place at
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
(3-4 p.m. Universal Time Coordinated, 5-6 p.m. Central European Summer time
Daylight time ends on November 7, 2021)

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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.