My research principally focuses on the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetised planets in the Solar System. I use spacecraft observations to study how solar wind energy is transported into planetary magnetospheres (the cavity surrounding each magnetised planet within which the planetary magnetic field is confined and around which the solar wind must flow). In addition, and related to the topic of planetary magnetospheres, I also study fundamental space plasma processes and phenomena, such as magnetic reconnection, growth of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and collisionless shock waves.
Main publication list
Recent first-author publications:
- Masters, A., et al. (2012), The importance of plasma β conditions for magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause, Geophys. Res. Lett., in press (on 21 March 2012).
- Masters, A., et al. (2012), Surface waves on Saturn's magnetopause, Planet. Space Sci., 65, 109-121, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.02.007.
- Masters, A., et al. (2011), Electron heating at Saturn's bow shock, J. Geophys. Res., 116, A10107, doi:10.1029/2011JA016941.
Brief career introduction
- 2002 to 2006: Masters degree in Physics at Imperial College London
- 2006 to 2009: PhD in Space Physics at Imperial College London
- 2009 to 2012: Postdoctoral researcher at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
- 2012 to date: JAXA International Top Young Fellow based at ISAS
What I would like to do at ISAS
My fellowship research project to be carried out at ISAS is entitled: "Determining the factors controlling the transport of energy from the solar wind into planetary magnetospheres". I will use data returned by the MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury and the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn to compare the nature of this energy transport at these two systems that are at very different distances from the Sun. This comparison will improve our understanding of how this energy transport varies between planetary magnetospheres, and may also impact our understanding of the interaction between the solar wind and our own planet's magnetosphere . My other major aim is to extend existing, and initiate new, collaborations with researchers at ISAS and in Japan, broaden my research experience, and learn Japanese.
I was born, grew up, and was educated in London. I am an avid football (soccer) player and a follower of the beautiful game. I enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures and cuisines.