The Stanford University VLF Group investigates the Earth’s electrical environment, its upper atmosphere, lightning discharges, radiation belts, and the ionized regions of upper atmosphere known as the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Much of our work involves the use of very low frequency (VLF) electromagnetic waves which are generated by lightning discharges, by man-made transmitters and by energetic radiation belt electrons. We investigate the generation of these waves and the manner in which they propagate in and scatter from various regions of the upper atmosphere. We use VLF waves as diagnostic tools to investigate physical processes in the Earth’s plasma environment. Under the direction of Professor Umran Inan, the VLF group carries out extensive observational programs at multiple sites around the world and on satellites. In addition, extensive theoretical modeling and interpretation work is carried out, on quantitative modeling of high-altitude optical emissions known as sprites, blue jets, and elves, on modeling the propagation and scattering of electromagnetic waves in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide, and on other related electromagnetic wave and plasma physics problems.

Click on a thumbnail below for an introduction to our research topics.  For more details, visit the Research page.