Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cloudy with a Chance of...Solar Flares?

29.09.2014

Earl Scime, Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and interim vice president of research at West Virginia University, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to better understand the effects of space weather.

Scime is using his $590,000 grant, to study double layers, structures composed of strong electric fields, found within plasma, capable of accelerating particles to high speeds. He is looking specifically at how these structures form, and what keeps them around in space.

It’s a small part of a bigger picture. Scime hopes to be able to model what is happening in space, in his lab, to be able to determine what exactly happens during powerful space storms.

On Sept. 11, a strong solar flare launched off of the sun, launching a massive burst of electrified gas into space. This is known as a coronal mass ejection. This burst and others like it continue to threaten technology on Earth and have been an area of interest for years at NASA.

The results of his studies could be used in sophisticated models of the space environment that would allow researchers to be able to predict whether or not a solar event will lead to harmful space weather. With advance warning, critical power, telecommunication, and other systems on Earth could be protected during a space weather storm.

“When we have large space weather events you can have power distribution systems fail, oil pipelines fail, spacecraft get knocked out permanently. Your standard communications satellite costs a couple-hundred million to a half a billion dollars. When those fail it can shut down long distance telephone communication for an entire country,” Scime said.

Scime specializes in space-relevant plasma physics and has recently also received $720,000 of funding from NASA for a project to build a micro-sized space instrument that will go into space and measure speed and density of particles in space, a whole new area of research at WVU.

“We hope to have our first prototypes ready by the end of next summer for testing. These are going to be space instruments the size of a sugar cube, but with the capabilities of instruments that, up to now, have been much larger,” Scime said.

For more information, contact Earl Scime at 304-293-5125 or escime@wvu.edu.

Check http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/ daily for the latest news from the University. Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

Devon Copeland | newswise

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property
26.07.2017 | City College of New York

nachricht Large, distant comets more common than previously thought
26.07.2017 | University of Maryland

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>