Motion of Trapped Protons in the Earth's Magnetic Field

Application ID: 19047


This model demonstrates the path of non-relativistic protons within Earth's magnetic field.

Due to the dipole nature of Earth's magnetic field, charged particles, such as electrons and protons, can get trapped in stable configurations within it for long periods of time.

These configurations involve the particles rapidly bouncing from magnetic pole to magnetic pole, and drifting around the earth; this drifting motion is slow in comparison to the bounce motion. This forms belts of trapped radiation.

The magnetic field of the earth is not a perfect dipole and complex fits and empirical models exist to model the field in detail. In order to rapidly compute this magnetic field, an external function is used to encapsulate an implementation of the IGRF (International Geomagnetic Reference Field). This implementation is written in c and compiled into a shared library.

Ref: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/vmod/igrf.html

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: