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Extreme Physics by Jon Larsen, Jeff Colvin

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10 Magnetohydrodynamics

Magnetic fields are often given a secondary position of importance in the study of dense plasma. Indeed, many aspects of plasma may be adequately described without including magnetic fields. There are some physical processes, however, that require consideration of the effects of magnetic fields, and in certain circumstances their effects may dominate.

Magnetic fields are found nearly everywhere there is plasma, from the farthest regions of deep space to that of our closer terrestrial environment. The magnetosphere surrounding the Earth has an induction of order 10–5 G, and the stream of charged particles from the Sun (the solar wind) interacts with it to create the Van Allen radiation belts. As the charged particles spiral ...

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