Impact of the Substorm Concept on Kinetic Plasma Instability Research

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Anthony Lui, The Johns Hopkins Univ, Laurel, MD, United States
Observations on the onset of magnetospheric substorms reveal initiation of an explosive energy release process in the magnetosphere with short time scales. In particular, detailed analysis of magnetic field fluctuations associated with current disruption and temporal variations of substorm current system in the magnetotail demonstrate the time-scale to be in the kinetic regime of seconds. These clues point to a kinetic plasma process for substorm initiation. Research on the cross-field current instability is a direct consequence of the substorm concept. The various features of the cross-field current instability that are consistent with the observational features of substorm onset are presented.