By Alv Egeland, William J. Burke
This biography summarizes the seminal contributions to auroral and house technological know-how of Carl Størmer (1874 - 1957). He used to be the 1st to advance distinct photographic how you can calculate heights and morphologies of numerous auroral varieties in the course of 4 sun cycles. Størmer independently devised numerical ideas to figure out the trajectories of high-energy charged debris allowed and forbidden within the Earth’s magnetic box. His theoretical analyses defined cosmic ray entry to the higher surroundings, twenty years sooner than they have been pointed out by means of different scientists. Størmer’s crowning fulfillment, “The Polar Aurora,” released whilst he used to be eighty one years outdated, stands to at the present time as a frequently mentioned advisor in graduate-level classes on house physics.
The authors current the lifetime of this prodigious scientist when it comes to the cultural lifetime of early twentieth century in Norway and to the improvement of the gap sciences within the post-Sputnik era.
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Extra info for Carl Størmer: Auroral Pioneer
Størmer determined that parallactic photography had the best chances of succeeding if the line between observers is along the magnetic north-south direction. Thus, the observers align nearly perpendicular to auroral arcs and bands that tend to extend in the magnetic east-west direction. While the working conditions were arduous during the first expedition, they were considerably simpler during the second. The number of auroral photos taken this winter was about 1,300. Nearly 500 aurorae were photographed simultaneously from the two stations.
Auroral perturbations of compass directions posed serious threats to navigation. 1 Auroral Science at Nineteenth Century’s End 31 Fig. 2 Herman Fritz’s (1881) auroral map. Notice that the zone of maximum occurrence closely follows the coast of northern Norway. The lines of equal frequency in this map are not completely symmetric with respect to the magnetic pole. This is probably an artefact of his limited number of observations. A similar zone was later found in the southern hemisphere formulated the first scientifically correct explanation of this relationship, arguing that fluctuations of the Earth’s magnetic field provide critical clues about possible connections between electrical currents flowing in the upper atmosphere and activity on the Sun.
During my presentation I brought a book with notes to help with the presentation, but forgot to take it back with me. The first thing the next speaker did was to hand it to me, with a kindly smile. I promised myself that this would never happen again, because it clearly showed that I was very nervous. Next time, I promise not to be nervous, spill chalk dust or forget my notes. After the presentations, we had an informal gathering at which I was asked a few questions regarding my work. On the way back to my apartment, I walked most of the way with the secretary of Societe´ Mathe`matique.