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The Plasma Line Revisited as an Aeronomical Diagnostic: Suprathermal electrons, solar EUV, electron‐gas thermal balance
Geophysical Research Letters
  • H C Carlson
  • Vincent B Wickwar, Utah State University
  • G P Mantas
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Spectra of plasma wave intensities (kTp) in the ionosphere over Arecibo are calculated and compared with those from observations of the plasma line intensity. This approach involving directly observed quantities avoids the uncertainties that have plagued past comparisons with photoelectron theory. In addition, careful comparisons in physically relevant segments of the spectra show that any significant increase in the magnitude of the solar EUV flux would lead to a contradiction of the observed plasma wave intensities. Further, the comparisons indicate that resolution of the thermal electron‐gas heat balance problem must be sought through better heat transfer rates (e.g., heating and cooling rates, etc.), rather than in the solar EUV. This approach utilizes more fully the potential of the plasma line experiment as a diagnostic tool for aeronomical studies, (e.g., photoelectrons, auroral secondaries, ionosphere‐modification experiments, etc.).


Published by American Geophysical Union in Geophysical Research Letters. Publisher PDF available for download through link above.

Citation Information
Carlson, H. C., Jr., V. B. Wickwar, and G. P. Mantas (1977), The plasma line revisited as an aeronomical diagnostic: Suprathermal electrons, solar EUV, electron‐gas thermal balance, Geophys. Res. Lett., 4(12), 565–567, doi:10.1029/GL004i012p00565.