UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


Space Plasma Physics

MSSL's Space Plasma Physics Group studies the interaction between the Sun and the Earth that leads to phenomena such as the Northern Lights and Space Weather. Our research ranges from the fundamental physics governing matter in a plasma state to the system-level interactions between the Sun and the Earth, as well as understanding the risks to technology and life. To accomplish this, we design, build and operate space plasma detectors on a range of missions, including ESA's Cluster and Solar Orbiter missions.

The Space Plasma Physics group at MSSL is a leading, internationally recognised research group studying the physical interaction between the Earth and the Sun and the fundamental physics of space plasmas. The group has a history of producing instrumentation for, and analysing data from, international space exploration missions in collaboration with scientists around the world.

The group is heavily involved in the current Cluster mission and the proposed Solar Orbiter mission. Much of our research involves exploiting data from the Cluster mission, in conjunction with other missions and facilities. We also provide operational support and data processing for the Cluster and Double Star missions and the Cluster Active Archive. We have a number of PhD opportunities for students to study some of the many aspects of space plasmas.

NASA's Van Allen Probes flying through the radiation belts. Credit: NASA


We are active in a number of areas of Space Plasmas Research, driven by our current and future participation in international space science missions for which we have, or will provide instrument hardware.

ESA Solar Orbiter facing the Sun. Credit: ESA/NASA

Missions / Projects

The Space Plasma Physics group at MSSL has a long history of involvement in space missions making in-situ observations of our magnetosphere and the near-Earth space environment.



Find out about our research through our latest and prior publications

Funnelback feed: https://search2.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-mathematical-a...Double click the feed URL above to edit


Space Plasma Outreach:
Beginners guide to space plasma physics
Public Engagement 

Space Plasma Meetings:
All Meetings
Seminar Series

Head of Space Plasma Physics
Dr. Jonathan Rae
+44 1483 204 186