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Latest APS Division of Plasma Physics Stories

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2010-11-08 08:56:59

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics When physicists probe the mysteries of plasma, the fourth state of matter, they often discover phenomena of striking beauty. Much as when the Hubble Space Telescope sent back vivid images from space of ionized gas clouds (an interstellar plasma!), new 3D images of shear Alfv©n waves are delighting both scientists and a new generation of science enthusiasts. Plasmas support a large variety of waves. Some of these are...

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2010-11-08 08:50:00

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics The Sun sporadically expels trillions of tons of million-degree hydrogen gas in explosions called coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such clouds are enormous in size (spanning millions of miles) and are made up of magnetized plasma gases, so hot that hydrogen atoms are ionized. CMEs are rapidly accelerated by magnetic forces to speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second to upwards of 2,000 kilometers per second in several...

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2010-11-08 08:48:03

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Physicists working on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are now one step closer to solving one of the grand challenges of magnetic fusion research"”how to reduce the effect that the hot plasma has on fusion machine walls (or how to tame the plasma-material interface). Some heat from the hot plasma core of a fusion energy device escapes the plasma and can...

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2010-11-08 08:44:10

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Whenever two pieces of metal at different voltages are brought near each other, as when an appliance is plugged into a live socket, there is a chance there will be an arc between them. Most of the arcs people see are a breakdown of the gas between the metal surfaces, but this type of breakdown can also occur in a vacuum. This vacuum breakdown, which until recently has not been well understood, has implications for...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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