The stability of the mesospheric plasma layer

B. P. Pandey*, S. V. Vladimirov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)


    The presence of micron and sub-micron size dust in the Earth's summer mesopause are a possible cause of electron density depletion. Whereas electrons in this weakly ionized and weakly magnetized layer are frozen in the magnetic field, the ions and dust are highly diffusive. This relative drift between the plasma particles will cause a current in the medium. The presence of such a current can destabilize the plasma layer with a growth rate of the order of Alfvén frequency. Since required current density for the onset of this instability is on the order of J 0.03 A / m 2, it is quite unlikely that such a strong current is present in the mesosphere. However, owing to the prevailing ambiguity of measurements, the existence of such a current is not completely ruled out.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number122902
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhysics of Plasmas
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2011 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Physics of Plasmas, Volume 18, Issue 12, Article 122902 and may be found at


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