The Physics of Aurora Borealis A2 Coursework

Aurora Borealis

The Physics of Aurora Borealis

The solar wind consists of highly ionized electrons and protons emitted from our sun.[footnoteRef:2] When these charged subatomic particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, it creates a spectacular light display called the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere and Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere. These displays of light are best understood using particle physics. The force on a charged particle (F) is equal to the charge (q) times velocity (v) times magnetic field strength (B), according to Lorentz force law, as long as the particle is moving parallel to the magnetic field. If the perpendicular and parallel components of the velocity vector are considered separately, the sine of the angle between the magnetic field strength and parallel component equal zero, therefore, the force acting on a charged particle is equal to q*vperp*B. The path of the particle, if it were visible to the naked eye, would be similar to a slinky toy pulled apart. In other words, the particle will move in the direction of the magnetic field but in a circular pattern due to vperp.[footnoteRef:3] The radius (r) of this circular pattern is equal to (m*vperp)/(q*B), where m is mass. [2: Walter Lewin. “Lecture 19: How do magicians levitate women?” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Spring 2002, http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-19-how-do-magicians-levitate-women/, time 20:30. ] [3: Lewin, Lecture 19, time 22:15.]

When the solar winds reach the Earth’s atmosphere the ionized particles become aligned with the magnetic lines of force surrounding the planet.[footnoteRef:4] The magnetic lines of force enter and exit the magnetic poles, which would bring the highly charged electrons and protons closest to the atmosphere near the poles. When these charge particles come into contract with the molecules forming the atmosphere, mainly oxygen and nitrogen, they become electronically excited. A return to the ground state results in the release of energy in the form of photons. The resulting spectacular light shows are mainly the product of oxygen returning to ground state, which appears green or red at lower or higher altitudes, respectively. By comparison, nitrogen returning to ground state will appear pink and red at lower altitudes. [4: R. Nave. “Aurora” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, n.d., http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/aurora.html. ]

The scientific advances required to reach this understanding of the Aurorae occurred at the beginning of the 20th century.[footnoteRef:5] Within the fields of astronomy and physics, significant progress had been made in developing spectrophotometers and spectroscopes capable of studying the emission spectra of excited gases. In 1869, Anders Jonas Angstrom, used a spectroscope to examine the aurora and discovered it was monochromatic.[footnoteRef:6] Over the subsequent decades the aurora emission were documented with greater accuracy, but the source of the green/yellow “aurora line” (green 5577 A)[footnoteRef:7] remained controversial. [5: Helge Kragh. “The Spectrum of the Aurora Borealis: From Enigma to Laboratory Science.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 39, no. 4 (2009): 381.] [6: Ibid, 382.] [7: Ibid, 384.]

A Norwegian physicist, Kristian Birkland, theorized that charged particles emitted from the sun were interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. He was able to provide empirical support for his thesis by directing a cathode ray (electron beam) towards a magnetized sphere in his laboratory.[footnoteRef:8] In 1924, Norwegian physicist Lars Vergard was able to create a thin layer of nitrogen dust using cyrogenics and bombard it with a high-energy cathode ray.[footnoteRef:9] This experiment produced several emission spectra similar to those produced by the aurora, but nothing happened when the same dust was bombarded with protons. This led to the hypothesis that nitrogen was responsible for the green aurora line. [8: Ibid, 386.] [9: Ibid, 393-396.]

John Cunningham McLennan and Gordon Merritt Shrum, physics professor and student at the University of Toronto, respectively, were finally able to reproduce the green aurora line in the laboratory in 1925 when Schrum mistakenly used a helium gas contaminated with oxygen.[footnoteRef:10] It took a while to reproduce the ‘mistake’ and figure out that it was the oxygen producing a wavelength of 5577.35 A. The aurora line could not be reproduced using a nitrogen/helium mixture, but the full aurora spectrum could be reproduced by a gas mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium maintained at 2-3 cm Hg and 20Â° K. Later experiments revealed that the helium was dispensable and that oxygen would attain an excited state when bombarded by a cathode ray, thereby providing a complete explanation for the aurora spectrum. [10: Ibid, 403-406.]

Bibliography

Kragh, Helge. “The Spectrum of the Aurora Borealis: From Enigma to Laboratory Science.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 39, no. 4 (2009): 377-417

Lewin, Walter. “Lecture 19: How do magicians levitate women?” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Spring 2002. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-19-how-do-magicians-levitate-women/.

Nave, R. “Aurora” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, n.d., http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/aurora.html.

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We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.

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• The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
• We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
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The Physics of Aurora Borealis A2 Coursework

Aurora Borealis

The Physics of Aurora Borealis

The solar wind consists of highly ionized electrons and protons emitted from our sun.[footnoteRef:2] When these charged subatomic particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, it creates a spectacular light display called the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere and Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere. These displays of light are best understood using particle physics. The force on a charged particle (F) is equal to the charge (q) times velocity (v) times magnetic field strength (B), according to Lorentz force law, as long as the particle is moving parallel to the magnetic field. If the perpendicular and parallel components of the velocity vector are considered separately, the sine of the angle between the magnetic field strength and parallel component equal zero, therefore, the force acting on a charged particle is equal to q*vperp*B. The path of the particle, if it were visible to the naked eye, would be similar to a slinky toy pulled apart. In other words, the particle will move in the direction of the magnetic field but in a circular pattern due to vperp.[footnoteRef:3] The radius (r) of this circular pattern is equal to (m*vperp)/(q*B), where m is mass. [2: Walter Lewin. “Lecture 19: How do magicians levitate women?” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Spring 2002, http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-19-how-do-magicians-levitate-women/, time 20:30. ] [3: Lewin, Lecture 19, time 22:15.]

When the solar winds reach the Earth’s atmosphere the ionized particles become aligned with the magnetic lines of force surrounding the planet.[footnoteRef:4] The magnetic lines of force enter and exit the magnetic poles, which would bring the highly charged electrons and protons closest to the atmosphere near the poles. When these charge particles come into contract with the molecules forming the atmosphere, mainly oxygen and nitrogen, they become electronically excited. A return to the ground state results in the release of energy in the form of photons. The resulting spectacular light shows are mainly the product of oxygen returning to ground state, which appears green or red at lower or higher altitudes, respectively. By comparison, nitrogen returning to ground state will appear pink and red at lower altitudes. [4: R. Nave. “Aurora” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, n.d., http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/aurora.html. ]

The scientific advances required to reach this understanding of the Aurorae occurred at the beginning of the 20th century.[footnoteRef:5] Within the fields of astronomy and physics, significant progress had been made in developing spectrophotometers and spectroscopes capable of studying the emission spectra of excited gases. In 1869, Anders Jonas Angstrom, used a spectroscope to examine the aurora and discovered it was monochromatic.[footnoteRef:6] Over the subsequent decades the aurora emission were documented with greater accuracy, but the source of the green/yellow “aurora line” (green 5577 A)[footnoteRef:7] remained controversial. [5: Helge Kragh. “The Spectrum of the Aurora Borealis: From Enigma to Laboratory Science.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 39, no. 4 (2009): 381.] [6: Ibid, 382.] [7: Ibid, 384.]

A Norwegian physicist, Kristian Birkland, theorized that charged particles emitted from the sun were interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. He was able to provide empirical support for his thesis by directing a cathode ray (electron beam) towards a magnetized sphere in his laboratory.[footnoteRef:8] In 1924, Norwegian physicist Lars Vergard was able to create a thin layer of nitrogen dust using cyrogenics and bombard it with a high-energy cathode ray.[footnoteRef:9] This experiment produced several emission spectra similar to those produced by the aurora, but nothing happened when the same dust was bombarded with protons. This led to the hypothesis that nitrogen was responsible for the green aurora line. [8: Ibid, 386.] [9: Ibid, 393-396.]

John Cunningham McLennan and Gordon Merritt Shrum, physics professor and student at the University of Toronto, respectively, were finally able to reproduce the green aurora line in the laboratory in 1925 when Schrum mistakenly used a helium gas contaminated with oxygen.[footnoteRef:10] It took a while to reproduce the ‘mistake’ and figure out that it was the oxygen producing a wavelength of 5577.35 A. The aurora line could not be reproduced using a nitrogen/helium mixture, but the full aurora spectrum could be reproduced by a gas mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium maintained at 2-3 cm Hg and 20Â° K. Later experiments revealed that the helium was dispensable and that oxygen would attain an excited state when bombarded by a cathode ray, thereby providing a complete explanation for the aurora spectrum. [10: Ibid, 403-406.]

Bibliography

Kragh, Helge. “The Spectrum of the Aurora Borealis: From Enigma to Laboratory Science.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 39, no. 4 (2009): 377-417

Lewin, Walter. “Lecture 19: How do magicians levitate women?” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Spring 2002. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-19-how-do-magicians-levitate-women/.

Nave, R. “Aurora” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, n.d., http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/aurora.html.

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Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

• Plagiarism free papers
• Timely delivery
• Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
• Ability to tackle bulk assignments
• Reasonable prices

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects

Literature

Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.

Finance

Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!

Psychology

While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.

Engineering

Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.

Nursing

In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.

Sociology

Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.

We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!

Statistics

We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.

Law

Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

• When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
• We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

• The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
• We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
• Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.