The Terrestrial Magnetosphere: A Half-Wave Rectifier of the Interplanetary Electric Field

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Science  29 Aug 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4204, pp. 717-718
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4204.717


A study of geomagnetic disturbances during 1967 and 1968, for which in situ solar wind observations are available, reveals that the magnetosphere acts as a half-wave rectifier of the interplanetary electric field. The rate of injection of energy into the magnetosphere, as inferred from the strength of the disturbance, is approximately linearly proportional to the component of the electric field from dawn to dusk but is effectively zero if the electricfield has a component from dusk to dawn.