Physics Diploma, 1973, Universität Bochum, Germany
Dr. Rer. Nat., 1977, Universität Bochum, Germany
Acceleration of ions in the Earth's magnetosphere, in interplanetary space, and in solar flares; interaction of interstellar gas with the solar wind.
Acceleration of ions and electrons to high energies occurs at many places in the universe inenvironments with rapid reconfiguration of magnetic fields and at shock waves. For example, rapid reconfiguration of magnetic field lines is observed in the magnetotail during magnetospheric substorms. Another well-established laboratory for the in situ study of shock acceleration is the Earth's bow shock. From Earth-orbiting satellites, we study these sites in detail with instrumentation that determines the mass and charge composition as well as the directional andenergy distribution of ions. This information enables us to trace the origin of the accelerated particle populations and establish constraints on acceleration models. The range of our instrument capabilities includes the realm of similar processes during solar flares from the composition of accelerated flare material. The group has developed and is further improving instrumentation based on the time-of-flight technology and on energy loss in thin window proportional counter systems, which are at the forefront of technology.
In the mid-80s this instrumentation has also opened the exciting field of direct studies of the interstellar gas in the heliosphere. Our time-of-flight spectrometer on AMPTE has presented the first direct evidence of ions originating from interstellar gas in the solar wind. From these measurements the density, temperature, and flow velocity of the interstellar gas can be determined.
Our research involves close collaboration with other institutes in the U.S., such as the University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, University of Maryland, and University of Washington, as well as institutes abroad, including my former home institute, the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany; the University of Bern, Switzerland; and the Centre d`Étude Spatiale et Rayonnement, Toulouse, France.
Graduate students in our group will have the opportunity to work with us on the development and testing of space instrumentation and to analyze data sets from past space missions. They will be able to participate in working team meetings with our colleagues and to attend scientific conferences in the field. Undergraduate students in our group get involved with simulations, calibration and test data and help integrate instrument hardware. Several Senior Projects have been completed in the group in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical angineering and physics, all embedded in the development of space physics instrumentation.
Teaching and other Interests
COSPAR World Space Conference in October, 2002. Dr. Eberhard Mobius is the main scientific organizer!