Latest Plasma Stories

New Light Cast On Electrons Heated To Several Billion Degrees
2011-11-21 13:57:00

A new class of high power lasers can effectively accelerate particles like electrons and ions with very intense, short laser pulses.  This has attracted the interest of researchers around the globe, working out the details of the acceleration process which occurs when a laser beam impinges on a thin foil to accelerate ions from the foil´s rear surface to high energies.  The electrons in the foil are heated by the laser pulse, thereby gaining energy.  These electrons in...

2011-11-18 03:20:11

A revolutionary approach to illumination It was not too long ago that basic science lectures began with the three forms of matter: gases, liquids and solids–and somewhere along the line plasmas were occasionally added to the list. But to be precise, a plasma is an ionized gas; thus, a subset of the big three. But this subset has coexisted with the other forms since the Big Bang and actually makes up 99 percent of the universe. It is found in our Sun and all the other stars, and in...

Image 1 - Cluster Reveals Earth's Bow Shock Is Remarkably Thin
2011-11-17 05:07:47

A new study based on data from ESA's Cluster mission has revealed that the bow shock formed by the solar wind as it encounters Earth's magnetic field is remarkably thin: it measures only 17 kilometers across. Thin astrophysical shocks such as this are candidate sites for early phases of particle acceleration. The finding thus sheds new light on the much debated issue of particle injection in the context of cosmic ray acceleration. Most baryonic matter in the Universe consists of charged...

2011-11-15 21:22:28

Low-temperature discharges generate oxygen, nitrogen radicals that kill microbes for week University of California, Berkeley, scientists have shown that ionized plasmas like those in neon lights and plasma TVs not only can sterilize water, but make it antimicrobial — able to kill bacteria — for as long as a week after treatment. Devices able to produce such plasmas are cheap, which means they could be life-savers in developing countries, disaster areas or on the battlefield...

2011-11-15 19:20:54

Temperature and energy equipartition in cosmic plasmas explained Why the temperatures in the solar wind are almost the same in certain directions, and why different energy densities are practically identical, was until now not clear. With a new approach to calculating instability criteria for plasmas, Bochum researchers lead by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schlickeiser (Chair for Theoretical Physics IV) have solved both problems at once. They were the first to incorporate the effects of collisions...

2011-11-11 18:33:59

Using plasmas, sealed plastic bags can be modified at atmospheric pressure so that human cells can adhere to and reproduce on their walls. Cell culture bags of this kind are an important aid for research and clinical purposes and may eventually replace the Petri dishes used today. Physicians are increasingly using live cells in their treatments: in blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants, as well as in stem cell therapies and following severe burns. Cells taken from the patients...

2011-11-11 16:47:19

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Recent experiments carried out at the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego have allowed scientists to observe how fusion plasmas spontaneously turn off the plasma turbulence responsible for most of the heat loss in plasmas confined by toroidal magnetic fields. Using a new microwave instrument based on the same principles as police radar guns, researchers from UCLA observed the complex interplay between plasma turbulence and...

2011-11-11 16:46:19

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Research on the Alcator C-Mod experiment at MIT has made an unexpected connection between two seemingly unrelated but important phenomena observed in tokamak plasmas: spontaneous plasma rotation and the global energy confinement of the plasma. Self-generated flows, the spontaneous plasma rotation which arises even when there is no external momentum input, can have a strong beneficial effect on plasma transport and...

2011-11-11 16:42:28

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics A key challenge in producing fusion energy is confining the plasma long enough for the ionized hydrogen to fuse and produce net power. Suppressing plasma turbulence is one approach to this, but the resulting increase in energy confinement is usually accompanied by undesirable increases in particle and impurity confinement, which can lead to plasma contamination and ash accumulation–and reduced power. At MIT's...

2011-11-11 14:17:46

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Tokamaks–a leading design concept for producing nuclear fusion energy–can, under certain rare fault conditions, produce beams of very energetic "runaway" electrons that have the potential to damage interior surfaces of the device. In the event of such a fault, a tokamak-based nuclear fusion power plant will have to employ protection systems to prevent any damage. Now, scientists at the DIII-D National...

Latest Plasma Reference Libraries

2013-03-16 00:00:00

Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén (May 30, 1908 - April 2, 1995) was a Swedish plasma physicist born in Norrköping, Sweden. Alfvén received his PhD from the University of Uppsala in 1934. His thesis was titled "Investigations of the Ultra-short Electromagnetic Waves." He was originally trained as an electrical power engineer and later moved on to research and teaching in the fields of plasma physics. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Heliopause -- The heliopause is the boundary where our Sun's solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The solar wind blows a "bubble" in the interstellar medium (the rareified hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy). The point where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the interstellar medium is known as the heliopause, and is often considered to be the outer "border" of the solar system. The distance to the heliopause is not precisely...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Prominence -- Solar prominences are large arch-shaped structures observable in the solar corona. These often have a twist and occasionally become unstable, ejecting plasma and magnetic flux out from the sun. The physics of solar prominence instability is believed to be governed by magnetic forces and magnetic helicity issues. It is thought that instability occurs when a magnetic flux tube becomes excessively twisted. ----- Click here to learn more on this topic from eLibrary:

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Word of the Day
  • A bat.
The word 'reremouse' comes from Middle English reremous, from Old English hrēremūs, hrērmūs ("bat"), equivalent to rear (“to move, shake, stir”) +‎ mouse.