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 Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>