Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Earth and Planetary Magnetism

Overall Course Objectives

The course presents an introduction to observations and physical theories of Earth and planetary magnetism. The focus is on describing the large-scale field structure and its time changes. This course provides the tools needed to construct global models of magnetic fields and the physical background needed to interpret magnetic observations made by satellites and on ground. This knowledge forms the basis for diverse applications in navigation and allows the study of planetary interiors.

Learning Objectives

  • explain the various sources to Earth’s magnetic field
  • describe measurement techniques for the magnetic field
  • write down and interprete equations describing geomagnetic field globally
  • use satellite magnetic field measurements to build global field models
  • explain the physics of internal sources of the geomagnetic field (core dynamo, lithospheric magnetization)
  • describe how once can separate of the various sources
  • use measurements of the magnetic field to study Earth and Planetary interiors
  • explain the differences between planetary magnetic fields.

Course Content

Earth’s magnetic field is generated by a range of different physical processes in the Earth’s interior and surroundings: Dynamo processes in the core, induced electrical currents in the mantle, the magnetization of the crust, ocean currents and prevailing winds in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, high-energy charged particles in the Earth’s radiation belts, and electric currents in the ionosphere and magnetosphere generated in the dynamic interaction between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field. The course will detail the various contributions, how they are observed, separated, described (modelled), interpreted, and used to study the Earth system. Comparison will also be made with the magnetic fields of other planets and what they reveal about planetary interiors.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Lecture and exercises.


See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 30745
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 8-12

7.500,00 DKK