Spectral characteristics of hydromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere

S. P. Kuo, M. C. Lee, A. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work is intended to explain why the resonant response of the magnetosphere prefers to have discrete frequencies. Using a cylindrical model for the outer magnetosphere with a plasma density profile proportional to 1/r3, we show that the eigenequation characterizing the eigenmodes of the hydromagnetic waves in this model has two turning points along the radial axis. The locations of the turning points depend upon the values of the eigenperiod and the associated east-west wavenumber of the eigenmode. The energy spectrum of the excited cavity modes is seen to have sharp peaks at discrete frequencies when the surface perturbations have a uniform spectrum in the frequency range of interest. We, therefore, have also shown that only the discrete set of the magnetospheric cavity eigenmodes can efficiently couple the perturbations excited on the boundary of the magnetosphere to the field-line resonant mode excited inside the inner turning point of the cavity eigenmode. The most likely values of east-west wavenumbers and wave period range are determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectral characteristics of hydromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this