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Why is it useful to treat the magnetosphere as a complex system ?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Christian Franzke.

Open to non-BAS; please contact Christian Franzke (chan1 (at) bas.ac.uk) if you would like to attend.

The magnetosphere is quite clearly “complex” as the word is used in everyday speech. However, in the last 15 to 20 years there has been a growing thread in magnetospheric physics which draws from, and develops, the emerging set of concepts and techniques which are now maturing to form a science of complex systems. Here “complexity” has a more specific meaning, usually implying system properties which cannot simply be deduced from the properties of the component parts. A particularly well-studied set of system properties has been derived from those used in the study of critical phenomena in condensed matter physics, notably correlation functions, power spectra and burst distributions. I will talk about these 3 measurements, why they have been made, how they have been adapted to the magnetospheric context, what they have told us so far and what I think the current issues are in their interpretation. I will also sketch some future directions. My own work has been done with many colleagues but I would particularly like to acknowledge Mervyn Freeman (BAS) and Sandra Chapman (Warwick) for collaboration over many years.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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