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IRF Uppsala
RPF programme
IRF-U Staff
PhD studies
Solar Orbiter
Swedish Institute of Space Physics (59°50.272′N, 17°38.786′E)
Student project at IRF Uppsala

Master thesis (30c)/Examensarbete (30hp)

Statistics of Electric and Magnetic Fields at the Earth's Bow Shock

Student: Tsz-Kiu Wong-Chan, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
Main supervisor: Ahmad Lalti
Assistant supervisors: Andrew Dimmock, Yuri Khotyaintsev, Tomas Karlsson (KTH)
Period: Spring 2023


The interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetic field creates the Earth's bow shock. It is an ideal region for space probes like MMS, THEMIS or Clusters to study the collisionless shock phenomenon in space plasma. More specifically the project focuses on the topic of wave-particle interactions in the space plasma environment, which allows irreversible energy dissipation and entropy production at the event of a shock when there are a lack of collisions between particles. Research is still ongoing regarding the topic of wave-particle interactions in plasma and this project aims to contribute to our understanding of this topic. To do this, measurement data of a total of 249 shock crossing events from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission are used to conduct a statistical study. The study aims to analyse the correlation between the electric- and magnetic field measured close to shock-crossing events, and their respective macroscopic shock parameters in different shock regions, and at three different frequency bands for the attempt of further our understanding of the dynamics of collisionless shocks. Through scatter plots, negative correlations are found between both the electric- and magnetic field power, and the different macroscopic shock parameters at various shock regions and at various frequency ranges. This leads to the suggestion of potential dependencies between the occurrence of electrostatic and electromagnetic waves and those shock parameters. However, there is still room for improvement of the statistical method used for the correlation studies.


MMS data showing one of the shocks studied in the project.
last modified on Thursday, 16-Nov-2023 12:55:46 CET