The physics of cosmic-ray modulation

J. R. Jokipii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The theory of the modulation of galactic cosmic rays by the solar wind is reviewed. The basic transport equation is presented, interpreted and then applied to cosmic-ray transport in a model heliosphere immersed in a constant uniform bath of galactic cosmic rays. The results of numerical modelling are presented and the dominant physical effects analyzed. A variety of observational tests of the model which were reported over the last several years are summarized and shown, generally, to support a model in which particle drifts play an important role. Recent measurements which show that the latitudinal gradient of cosmic rays changed sign in the recent sunspot minimum (relative the last sunspot minimum) are shown to provide additional, strong, support for the model. A new picture of the interplanetary magnetic field is presented, which gives promise of improving considerably the agreement between the theory and observations in the few remaining problem areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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