Selected Topics in Ionospheric Physics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives:The course follows up the topics of the Earth¿s ionosphere covered in PHYS251. The objectives are to provide a deeper understanding of the coupling between the Earth¿s magnetosphere and the ionosphere through electric currents and particles, and the effects on the physical and chemical conditions in the upper atmosphere.

Content:Interactions between auroral particles and the upper atmosphere, auroral X-rays, aurora, ionization, the electrodynamics of the ionosphere, irregularities and instabilities in the ionosphere, propagation of radio waves, coupling between the magnetosphere, ionosphere and the neutral atmosphere. The content is tailored to the needs of the students attending the course.



Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • can identify the most important plasma parameters controlling the electric currents in the ionosphere
  • can explain the structure and electrodynamics of the ionosphere in the equatorial region
  • has extensive knowledge about the main features of the electrodynamics of the ionosphere at high latitudes
  • has knowledge about important structures and instabilities in the ionosphere at high latitudes


The student

  • can use fundamental laws and connections of physics to understand complex phenomena in the Earths ionosphere at different latitudes

General competence

The student can

  • use theoretical knowledge and proficiency in ionospheric physics to analyze measurements of ionospheric parameters and relate these to processes and phenomena in other parts of the Sun-Earth system
  • discuss scientific challenges of the Sun-Earth system and evaluate new research at a high academic level



Semester of Instruction

Irregular, on request.
Required Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge of minimum 60 ECTS in physics
Recommended Previous Knowledge
PHYS 205 and PHYS 251
Forms of Assessment
Oral exam
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.