A Scientific Review on Radiation Belt Radial Diffusion

“Synthesis is an important task in science, because it can often lead to a paradigm change” Akasofu, S.-I., 2007, preface of the second edition of “Exploring the Secrets of the Aurora”


At the very beginning of my phD studies, my supervisor asked me to work on radiation belt radial diffusion. For months, I felt bewildered.

It took me a lot of time to find clarifications, and to answer my own questions – Why is the process diffusive? What are the drivers of this diffusion? What ingredients does one need to quantify the process?

Because radial diffusion is one of the oldest research topics of radiation belt science, its understanding evolved over time. I think that is one of the reasons why this concept can be so difficult to grasp.

As time went on, I realized that I was far from the only one facing this radial diffusion challenge. That is what motivated the writing of this review.

A Team Project

I was excited at the idea of writing a review. Yet, I could not do this on my own.

I want to say THANK YOU to Sarah, Adnane, and Peter, the early career researchers who agreed to get involved with this project. They all dedicated countless hours to help. I am also grateful to all the experienced researchers who answered my emails and helped me submit the review. To all, thanks for caring!


I hope that this review will be useful for our community … and perhaps – who knows! – lead to a paradigm shift.

So please go ahead, give it a try, and let me know what you think! All significant contributions will be acknowledged in the revised version of the manuscript – currently under review for publication in Space Science Reviews -. Merci 🙂

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