Birkeland current

1908 Birkeland current

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Kristian Birkeland electromagnetism

Birkeland current

Auroral electrojets


Birkeland currents are carried by electrons freed from oxygen, helium, and hydrogen nuclei, that is, by ionospheric plasmas.

Birkeland was not the first scientist to propose the existence of electrically conducting regions of the atmosphere. Around 1839, Carl Friedrich Gauss had proposed that these could account for observed variations of the earth’s magnetic field.

See also in The book of science:

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