This web site can be used in many ways:|
If you seek a quick tour of the topics covered ...look up one of the 8 summary files below. Each is linked to 3-6 detailed files, telling a more complete story, and those in turn may have other links, including history sections which tell about the related history.
If you are a student of physics, astronomy or engineering ...or if you seek to educate yourself about space, be aware that the sequence of topics presented here gives a complete self-contained course. Each is linked to either the next item in sequence, or else to the related historical overview. The first 20 sections or so, in particular, introduce the user to the related physics and astronomy, and are thus a useful supplement to high school or freshman physics. They cover magnetism, ions, electrons, plasma, energetic particles and a section on the Sun. The initial file in the sequence is linked here.
You can also link here to a self-contained overview of the early history of magnetism.
If you are a casual browser, or have specific questions ...note that links to all files are given in their proper order on the home page, linked here and also at the end of any "Exploration" file. If you have a question about this area of research and do not find your answer here, you can send it by e-mail to the authors, at u5dps("at" symbol)lepvax.gsfc.nasa.gov. If it is relevant and time permits, you will receive a reply. A sample list of questions and answers is linked here. "Exploration" also contains a glossary, linked here and at the end of every file.
If you are a teacher of science or astronomy ...then any of these avenues may provide you with useful teaching material. A special file on "Exploration" as a classroom resource is linked here.
You could also look up the article "Space Physics for Poets" in The Physics Teacher, January 1997, p. 38-9.
If you are a scientist or engineer, this may be easy reading ...but we guarantee you will still learn a thing or two--even if your field is space research!
- For an inventory of resource materials--related books, journals, organizations and web sites, as well as information for downloading these files to your computer--click here.
- For additional files, included in this collection but not part of the main presentation, click here
Whoever you are, your e-mailed comments would be greatly appreciatedSend them to the author and curator (below). Please tell us what you have found useful and
what was difficult, unclear or (worse) inaccurate. Any suggestions for changes, additions or for new links would be most welcome.