• Nandini Nagarajan

      Articles written in Resonance – Journal of Science Education

    • General Article

      Nandini Nagarajan

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      The Earth’s magnetic field has been a constant source of curiosityand wonder, for its ubiquitous use in navigation, theproperties of magnetic attraction and the influence and connectionto celestial phenomena like aurora, sunspots, etc.Records of magnetic measurements exist going back 400 years.Modern measurements, with the addition of satellite-borneobservations, provide accuracy and enables understanding ofintriguing characteristics of the geomagnetic field. Some ofthese are: magnetic polarity reversals, wandering of the magneticpoles and the most fundamental one: the origin of thefield in the Earth’s interior and the mechanisms that havesustained it for over a billion years.

    • Unravelling the Aurora Borealis

      Nandini Nagarajan

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      Carl Størmer was a pioneer in the study of the aurora borealis, a mathematician who derived the conditions for the formation of aurora and their trajectories in the atmosphere, making seminal contributions to auroral and space science. He was the first to develop precise photographic methods to calculate the heights and morphologies of diverse auroral forms from observations over four solar cycles (45 years). Størmer independently devised numerical techniques to determine the allowed and forbidden trajectories of high-energy charged particles in the Earth's magnetic field. His theoretical calculations also explained cosmic ray access to the upper atmosphere, 20 years before this was identified by other scientists. His interactions and contributions in the nascent stages of modern geomagnetism are outstanding. The breadth and scope of his theoretical and observational achievements are monumental even by modern standards. His major work, The Polar Aurora [1], published in two volumes when he was 81 years old, stands to this day as a valued resource in graduate-level courses on space physics.

    • Editorial

      Nandini Nagarajan

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    • Carl Størmer: A Biographical Sketch

      Nandini Nagarajan

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      Carl Størmer (1874--1957) was a son of Norway who added many significant scientific achieve­ments to his country's laurels. He was indeed a pioneer in the study of aurora and evolved a theory of its occurrence, and association with geomagnetic disturbances and processes in the magnetosphere, before the era of space exploration.

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