• Radial and azimuthal dynamics of the io plasma torus

      Copper, Matthew; Delamere, Peter; Ng, Chung-Sang; Otto, Antonius (2015-05)
      The moon Io orbits Jupiter emitting neutral particles from its volcanic surface. This emission is ionized and forms the Io plasma torus around Jupiter. The variation of conditions at Io and Jupiter lead to variations in the content of the plasma in the torus. Volcanoes on Io's surface erupt and change the rate of neutral input. Hot electrons (30-100 eV), whose abundances vary in azimuth, create highly ionized species. Radial variation in subcorotation velocities, velocities less than than that of the motion of the dipole magnetic field, creates shears while maintaining coherent radial structure in the torus. Poorly understood changes in plasma density circulate through the torus creating the anomalous System IV behavior that has a period slightly longer than the rotation of Jupiter's magnetic field. This thesis summarizes the research that has produced a two-dimensional physical chemistry model, tested several existing theories about subcorotation velocities, System IV variation, and hot electrons, and adopted new methods of Io plasma torus analysis. In an attempt to understand important dynamics, the thesis modeled differing scenarios such as an initialized two-peak structure, a subcorotation profile dictated by mass loading and ionospheric conductivity, and a critical combination of two populations of hot electrons that accurately mimics the observed System IV phenomenon. This model was also used to solve the inverse problem of determining the best fit for the model parameters, neutral source input rate and radial transport rate, using observations of density, temperature, and composition. In addition the thesis shows the need for multi-dimensional modeling and the results from its groundbreaking two-dimensional model.