Date of Award

Spring 1996

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Richard Kaufmann


The purpose of this study is to gain physical insight into how charged particles, that violate the guiding center approximations, contribute to cross-tail current in a self-consistent plasma sheet. A technique to generate self-consistent two-dimensional (2D) current sheets is described. Groups of monoenergetic protons are followed in a model magnetic field. The sample current sheets are characterized by resonant quasiadiabatic and stochastic orbits. Several ion and electron groups are combined to produce a plasma sheet in which the charged particles carry the currents needed to generate the magnetic field in which the orbits are traced. An electric field also is required to maintain charge neutrality. Numerous plasma parameters are calculated for the generated current sheets. It was found that ions which were trapped near z = 0, ions that magnetically mirrored throughout the current sheet, and ions that mirrored near the Earth all were needed in order to produce the model current sheets.