Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Space Physics – Physics of the space environment

Overall Course Objectives

The goal is to provide insight into the physics of the space environment. The focus will be on the Sun, the interplanetary medium, and the Earth’s space environment. The student will acquire basic knowledge of the natural phenomena in space, such as high-energy radiation and the propagation of radio waves. The acquired knowledge also forms the foundation of further studies of the influence of the Sun and the solar wind on the Earth and the other planets, as well as magnetospheric physics and aeronomy.

Learning Objectives

  • estimate the density and pressure in the upper atmosphere from basic principles
  • derive basic equations describing formation of the ionosphere
  • calculate the motion of charged particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere, including the radiation belts
  • perform simple calculations of solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field propagation
  • describe and estimate effects of the solar wind on planetary environment
  • explain the distribution of plasma and electric currents in the Earth’s environment, the plasmasphere and magnetosphere
  • use and exploit wellknown theoretical and empirical models for the space environment
  • analyze satellite data of solar winds that interact with the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Course Content

Single-particle motion in magnetic and electric fields. MHD theory application to space. Structure and dynamics of the upper atmosphere. Ionospheric formation and structure. Wave propagation in plasma. Solar activity and solar wind. Solar wind planetary interactions. Magnetospheric structure and dynamics. Plasmasphere, aurora and radiation belts.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Lectures and exercises.


Limited number of seats

Minimum: 10.

Please be aware that this course will only be held if the required minimum number of participants is met. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether the course will be held.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 30720
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Mon 13-17

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more