Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The near-Saturn magnetic field environment
Author: Sulaiman, Ali Haidar
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 5410
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Shock waves exist throughout the universe and are fundamental to understanding the nature of collisionless plasmas. The complex coupling between charged particles and electromagnetic fields in plasmas give rise to a whole host of mechanisms for dissipation and heating across shock waves, particularly at high Mach numbers. While ongoing studies have investigated these process extensively both theoretically and via simulations, their observations remain few and far between. This thesis presents a study of very high Mach number shocks in a parameter space that has been poorly explored and identifies reformation using in situ magnetic field observations from the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn's bow shock. This gives an insight into quasi-perpendicular shocks across two orders of magnitude in Alfvén Mach number (MA) and spanning Earth-like to Astrophysical-like regimes. The work here shows evidence for cyclic reformation controlled by specular ion reflection occurring at the predicted timescale of ~0.3 τc, where τc is the ion gyroperiod. The relationship between these reformation signatures, magnetic overshoot and variability are also presented. The final part of this thesis characterises the region downstream of Saturn's bow shock, the magnetosheath. The results show a comprehensive overview of the configuration of the magnetic field in a non-axisymmetric magnetosheath. This non-axisymmetry is revealed to have an impact in the rotation of the magnetic field and is significant enough to influence the magnetic shear at the magnetopause.
Supervisor: Dougherty, Michele Sponsor: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral