International Geophysics Series, 1983, Volume 32. Academic Press, New York, London, 1983. – 416 pp. Some of the earliest forms of scientific investigation, as we know them today, were studies of the earth's magnetic field. The Epistola de Magnete of 1259 by Petrus Perigrinus is now regarded as the first scientific treatise ever written— and was about geomagnetism. Yet it was not until historical records of the geomagnetic field could be extended back in time, through the use of archaeomagnetism and palaeomagnetism, that great progress was made in our understanding of the history and origin of the earth's magnetic field. One of the most significant discoveries of palaeomagnetism has been that the geomagnetic field has changed its polarity many times in the past. This discovery played a critical role in the development of the theory of plate tectonics and is a constraint on all models for the origin of the main field of the earth. However, the existence of two polarity states is not a powerful constraint on most magnetic field models. Indeed, the existence of two states of opposite polarity was compatible with theories for the origin of the earth's magnetic field that existed 30 years ago. Less startling observational results acquired subsequently appear likely to place far more powerful constraints on theories for the origin of the main field.Contents Preface History of Geomagnetism and Palaeomagnetism The Present Geomagnetic Field: Analysis and Description from Historical Observations Fundamentals of Palaeomagnetism The Recent Geomagnetic Field: Palaeomagnetic Observations Reversals of the Earth's Magnetic Field The Time-averaged Palaeomagnetic Field Origin of the Earth's Magnetic Field 1: Introduction and Physical Insight Origin of the Earth's Magnetic Field 2: The Origin of Secular Variation and Field Reversals Palaeomagnetism and Dynamo Theory Lunar Magnetism Magnetic Fields of the Sun, Planets and Meteorites Appendix. References. Index
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