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When North Goes South
This is a report of a computer numerical model of the electromagnetic, fluid dynamical processes of Earth's interior that reproduced key features of the magnetic field over more than 40,000 years of simulated time in which the computer-generated field reversed itself. By itself, the reversal is strong confirmation of the dynamo theory model, and other details - magnitude and structure of the field - also agree with surface features of Earth's field. The simulation also offers insight into the dynamics that sustain the magnetic field and generate reversals.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
  • Physics
Technical requirements:
Animation requires RealOne Player or other viewing software.
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright (c) Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-204
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Interactions of energy and matter
        • Motions and forces
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
        • Science as a human endeavor
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Michael Schneider
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center