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The Planeterrella, a pedagogic experiment in planetology and plasma physics

Abstract : We present here a plasma physics experiment which makes it possible to simulate, in a naive yet useful way, the formation of polar lights. It involves shooting electrons at a magnetized sphere placed in a vacuum chamber. This experiment, inspired by K. Birkeland's Terrella, built at the turn of 19th century, allows the visualization of very many geophysical and astrophysical situations. Although delicate, it is feasible at undergraduate level.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00360061
Contributor : Béatrice Pibaret-Bourdon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 10:59:15 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 11:20:11 AM

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Jean Lilensten, Mathieu Barthelemy, Cyril Simon, Philippe Jeanjacquot, Guillaume Gronoff. The Planeterrella, a pedagogic experiment in planetology and plasma physics. Acta Geophysica, De Gruyter Open, 2009, 57 (1), pp.220-235. ⟨10.2478/s11600-008-0079-x⟩. ⟨insu-00360061⟩

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