Physics Colloquium: The Study of ‘Killer’ Charged Particles in the Earth’s Magnetosphere

The high-energy radiation environment in near-Earth space is a hostile place for sensitive technologies, whether it’s communications and GPS satellites or NASA-based scientific research. The need to understand and even predict this radiation environment, known as space weather, has been increasing dramatically with every new million dollars that gets put into space. In this talk, we’ll explore what effects space weather can have on today’s society, how we are monitoring and attempting to predict space weather, and what state-of-the art fundamental research is being undertaken in this epoch to truly understand this complex and relevant topic.