Virtual Pressroom 2003
- Liquid lithium makes solid improvement in fusion plasmas
- A little chaos goes a long way
- Microwave ovens that won't butt in
- Fight smog with plasma
- A new entry in the science X-games
- Additional Papers
October 27, 2003 -- When are the best walls made out of liquid? Or even gas? Why would anyone think chaos could lead directly to order? Would you like a microwave oven that wouldn't interfere with your wireless network? Would you believe that smog can be reduced with plasma?
These and many other questions will be addressed at one of the world's largest physics meetings this year: the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP), to be held from October 27-31, 2003, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 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, which is funded primarily by the US Department of Energy.