Special Seminar: Is Magnetic Reconnection the Cause of Auroral Substorms?

October 8, 2013


"Is Magnetic Reconnection the Cause of Auroral Substorms?" will be presented by IARC Director & Professor Emeritus Syun Akasofu on Thursday, October 10 in theJan Curtis aurora photo  Elvey Auditorium. The special seminar will begin at 2:30 p.m. and all are invited.


Abstract:  In 1964, I published my first paper on the aurora, the same year the magnetotail was discovered by H.E. Petschek who proposed the theory of magnetic reconnection. Since then, magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail has become the main theme in magnetospheric physics and substorms. Over the years, I have continued to study magnetic variations and the current system associated with substorms with colleagues. After recent synthesis, our studies reveal facts the substorm community has seemingly overlooked. The most crucial is the magnetotail does not have enough magnetic energy for the expansion phase of substorms, the most spectacular phenomenon. The energy is accumulated in the main body of the magnetosphere, where magnetic reconnection does not occur. My presentation describes how I reached this conclusion. However, many interesting problems remain.


Questions? Email sakasofu@iarc.uaf.edu.



GI photo by Jan Curtis.