Recent research shows that magnetic fields can spontaneously emerge in a plasma if the plasma has a temperature anisotropy. This mechanism is known as the Weibel instability. This new research is the first to unambiguously observe the Weibel instability in the laboratory. It offers a possible solution to the problem of the origin of the microgauss-level magnetic fields that permeate the galaxies.
Tag: Plasma Astrophyics
The Lab in the living room: Summer interns delve into plasma and fusion research from their homes
Summer interns working for PPPL did hands-on research from their computers in their bedrooms or on their dining room tables all over the U.S. They worked closely with PPPL physicists and engineers on research aimed at understanding ionized gases called plasmas.
Students at institutions across the U.S. learn about plasma and fusion research in new program managed by PPPL
This new program will allow undergraduates to conduct research in a wide range of plasma physics topics, including fusion energy, general plasma science, astrophysical plasmas, and accelerator physics.
New insights into behavior of ultra-dense star core
Neutron stars are often gravitationally locked with another star and over time siphon off some of the other star’s outermost surfaces. Now, a scientist at PPPL has helped explain two phenomena associated with this process that have long baffled researchers.
New findings could improve understanding of potentially damaging solar storms
When fast-moving particles from the sun strike the Earth’s magnetic field, they set off reactions that could disrupt communications satellites and power grids. Now, PPPL scientists have learned new details of this process that could lead to better forecasting of this so-called space weather.
Researchers find unexpected electrical current that could stabilize fusion reactions
PPPL scientists have found that electrical currents can form in ways not known before. The novel findings could give researchers greater ability to bring the fusion energy that drives the sun and stars to Earth.