Charles W. Smith III
Space Plasma Physics
Joint Appointment Physics Department
Ph.D., College of William and Mary
Dr. Smith earned his B.S. from the University of Maryland in 1977, an M.S. from The College William and Mary in 1979, and Ph.D. from William and Mary in 1981. He worked for over 5 years at the University of New Hampshire as a Research Scientist prior to departing for the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware where he worked for over 16 years. He returned to UNH in the summer of 2003. His original training is in fluid turbulence with application to magnetohydrodynamic fluids, but has since become involved in a wide range of plasma physics investigations centered on the solar wind, its origin and evolution, particle acceleration, and the propagation of cosmic rays through the heliosphere.
Charles Smith works most often at the interface between measurement and theory and enjoys extracting new information from spacecraft observations. He is the Data Manager for the Magnetic Fields Experiment (MAG) on the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft which is currently measuring the solar wind and radiation environment sunward of Earth. The ACE spacecraft measures the local plasma environment of the solar wind, providing insight into dynamics of the sun and solar wind. Many of the same measurements serve as input to magnetospheric problems and studies of the outer heliosphere. ACE also measures energetic particles of solar, solar wind, magnetospheric, and galactic origin with an emphasis on composition (the distribution of particle species, mass, and charge within a particular population). The MAG instrument often provides context for these measurements. Application of ACE measurements are far-reaching and applicable to a wide range of space-physics and astrophysical problems. Dr. Smith has worked on questions involving plasma waves and turbulence in the solar wind, the interaction of the Earth with the solar wind, interplanetary and planetary shocks, and cosmic rays.
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