Record-High Magnetic Fields in the Lab
Record-high magnetic fields in the lab, almost a Gigagauss in magnitude, have been achieved by aiming intense laser light at a dense plasma, expanding the possibilities for laboratory re-creations of astrophysical events.
At last weeks APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting in Orlando, researchers from Imperial College, London, and the Rutherford Appleton Lab in the UK announced evidence of super-strong magnetic fields that are hundreds of times more intense than any previous magnetic field created in an Earth laboratory and up to a billion times stronger than our planets natural magnetic field. Such intense magnetic fields may soon enable researchers to recreate extreme astrophysical conditions, such as the atmospheres of neutron stars and white dwarfs, in their very own laboratories.
At the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the UK, researchers at the VULCAN facility aimed intense laser pulses, lasting only picoseconds (trillionths of a second), at a dense plasma. The resulting magnetic fields in the plasma were on the order of 400 Megagauss.
To determine the magnitude of the fields, the researchers made polarization measurements of high-frequency light emitted during the experiment. Recent measurements presented at the APS/DPP conference suggested that the peak magnetic field in the densest region of the plasma approaches 1 Gigagauss.
Due to technological advances peak laser intensities are likely to increase still further and consequently even higher magnetic fields may soon be possible, making it possible to put models of extreme astrophysical conditions to the test. (Poster CP1.125, November 11, contact Karl Krushelnick, Imperial College, University of London, 011-44-20-7594-7635, email@example.com; for background see Tatarakis et al., Nature, 17 January 2002)
Phil Schewe | Physics news update 614
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...