Virtual Pressroom 2002
- Learning about astrophysical jets in the lab (42k)
- Record-high magnetic fields in lab (88k)
- X-rays squeeze fuel to generate nuclear fusion energy (208k)
- First 3-D magnetic reconnection measurements (288k)
- Plasma doughnut currents made hollow, leading to greater efficiency for fusion (1.5mb)
- Turbulence restrains itself — D-III experiments (248k)
- Turbulence restrains itself — Supercomputer simulations (135k)
- Additional Papers
November 6, 2002 -- Where can you find the strongest magnetic fields on Earth? Why do galactic nuclei spit out vast plumes of hot material into space? How can x-rays squeeze fuel capsules to generate energy? How can the turbulent flow of a plasma make itself stable and what does that have to do with the patterns on Jupiter?
These and many other questions will be addressed at one of the world's largest physics meetings this year: the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP), to be held from November 11-15, 2002 in Orlando, Florida. Around 1600 papers are scheduled to be delivered at this meeting.
Plasmas are gases of electrically charged particles such as electrons and protons. Plasmas make up astrophysical objects such as stars and supernovas, dying stars that collapse under their own weight and then explode. On Earth, they exist naturally as lightning bolts and the bath of charged particles in our upper atmosphere. In high-tech electronics factories, beams of artificially created plasmas engrave the sophisticated patterns in computer chips.
In attempts to provide the world with an abundant source of energy, many physicists are working hard to make artificial suns—plasmas so hot and so dense that their particles fuse to release energy. This pursuit of nuclear fusion as a practical energy source is a major branch of plasma physics research.