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Space Physics: An Introduction to Plasmas and Particles in the Heliosphere and Magnetospheres Hardcover – August 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-3540641261 ISBN-10: 3540641262

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Hardcover, August 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews of the third edition:

"It’s delighting to read such a book! Not only clear and precise, it covers a huge amount of information on a vast and difficult domain. … An appendix with symbols, useful relations, numbers and 52 Internet resources is followed by a list of 573 references. … I warmly recommend this book for students, young researchers or specialists as like the author said, focus is on concepts rather than on detailed mathematical analysis. Everyone could take benefits of the reading." (Jean-Claude Jodogne, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Space is a large natural plasma laboratory offering a wealth of phenomena which range from the simple to the highly complex and non-linear. This book begins with an introduction to basic principles such as single-particle motion, magnetohydrodynamics and plasma waves. It incorporates these concepts into an analysis of complex phenomena including the sun and solar activity, shocks, interplanetary space and magnetospheres, and finally the interaction between these entities in solar-terrestrial relationships. In all these subfields of space research, special attention is paid to energetic particles. The book concludes with a brief chapter on instrumentation. In this third edition, numerous examples have been added to illustrate the basic concepts and aid the reader in applying such concepts to real world physics. In addition, recent observations (ACE, TRACE, Wind) have been included. The chapter on solar-terrestrial relationships has been expanded to introduce the current research topic of Space Weather.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Springer (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540641262
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540641261
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,441,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
May-Britt Kallenrode's book "Space Physics" is a unique overview of the field, which might more correctly be titled "Space Plasma Physics". Plasma physics is the study of how ionized gases can behave in a collective manner rather than simply as a collection of individual particles behaving in an unrelated manner. The field attempts to explain much of solar physics, the interplanetary medium, the interaction of the solar wind with the planets, the interstellar medium, and the interaction of the solar wind with the interstellar plasma. It explains the appearance of a comet's tail in the night sky and the aurora at northern latitudes. It can also explain why solar eruptions can lead to the destruction of satelites, the endangerment of astronauts, and the loss of electricity in cities at moderate to high latitudes. Of course, this just scratches the surface of a broad and rich subject that stands on the borders with astronomy and astrophysics.

What is most unique in Kallenrode's book is her treatment of the solar wind, cosmic radiation, and related topics. Few other sources take up this subject where many others focus on the Earth's magnetosphere. For both student and professors working in the subject, I think the book is uniquely well-written, orderly, and instructive. I gave copies of the book to all my students upon graduation this year.

There is one word of caution: the second edition contained a great many typographical errors, although I found no outright mistakes. The third edition seems to have corrected these errors, although I would be careful when reading it. As I say to my students: don't believe anything until you have worked it out for yourself. This might be especially true of an excellent text in space physics containing some annoying typographical errors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm conflicted on how I should rate this book. On one hand, it was in great condition, priced reasonably, and just as described. On the other hand, the book itself is miserable. It's poorly written, unclear, and far too full of errors for a third edition. The problems are unclear and poorly described. The examples vary wildly in complexity. The basic physics descriptions are far too divorced from the actual topic of space physics.
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