News

New Managing Director for Plasma Technology

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology has appointed Dan Ayres to Managing Director with immediate effect. Dan previously held the position of General Manager at the company, and prior to this was Operations Director. With over 10 years experience within the Oxford Instruments Group, Dan has held roles in the fields of Operations, Product Management and Project Management.

Plasma - an art rather than a science.

I recently came across an article that described the soul as a plasma, a transitional phase between matter and energy. The essay was accompanied by the beautiful pictures of plasma globes that have become so common. There was a stage in my life/career as a physicist that this would annoy me.

Paper review - Ion energy distribution measurements

Ion energy distribution measurements in rf and pulsed DC plasma discharges

D Gahan, S Daniels, C Hayden, P Scullin, D O'Sullivan, Y T Peiand M B Hopkins.

http://stacks.iop.org/0963-0252/21/024004

Carrington event which is a massive plasma flare from the sun could hit the earth in the next decade

Startling paper by Pete Riley on the possibility of  massive solar flare, or Carrington event happening-

Key Points

  • Probability of a Carrington event occurring      over next decade is ~12%
  • Space physics datasets often display a      power-law distribution
  • Power-law distribution can be exploited to      predict extreme events

Pete Riley

the UCLA plasma simulation group received $1.78 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Some recent good news for the UCLA plasma simulation group.  The group recently received $1.78 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a cluster of 192 General Purpose Graphical Processing Units to compute at “Warp” speed. This new cluster is named DAWSON2 in honour of the group’s founder. DAWSON2 is dedicated for the study of particle-in-cell simulations of plasmas.

Plasma are beautiful

purchase a beautiful plasma

photo by Mitchell Buchanan by @mitcheplasma are beautifulllsmind

http://mitchellbuchanan.wordpress.com/

Princeton, Max Planck Society launch new research center for plasma physics

Princeton, Max Planck Society launch new research center for plasma physics Princeton University

"This collaboration with Germany's distinguished Max Planck Society is certain to enhance our common excellence in fusion and plasma astrophysical research and, more broadly, to advance the development of clean and abundant energy," Tilghman said.

Plasma sabre disinfects. Wash yourself with a plasma and get a healthy glow

Atmospheric plasma created in air are known to kill bacteria. The killing effect is not fully understood but it results from the very reactive nature of the plasma. To explain this the typical atmospheric plasma is a non-equilibrium plasma. This means that the electrons are accelerated by the strong electrical field.

Not even wrong, Fusion Energy at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics

When I was a postgraduate student I published my first scientific paper. I was very worried that the paper would be inaccurate. I spent several months reviewing the content before I finally submitted the work for publication.

Run away reaction to ping pong balls

Interesting article here on using ping pong balls loaded on mouse traps to demonstrate a nuclear fusion reaction in Illinois. The demo was part of a student lead project.

http://npre.illinois.edu/news/ans-students-demonstrate-nuclear-reactions...

Lithium lighter than water

Lots of plasma fusion stories this week, lithium lining work at PPPL. I notice the article points out that lithium is so light it floats in water – not for very long. Puff!!

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/23/37O88/

That empty feeling, when everything sucks!

Always a great question - what happens to somebody when exposed to a vacuum? I always liked this question. If we were unlucky enough to be sucked out of the airlock, like in alien - what would happen? Would we explode, blood and guts everywhere. Would it take time to die? Well, when I saw this article I thought it was an April fools story, but the release is dated the 3rd of April.

Electrodeless propulsion technology

The Elwing Company has established itself as a leader in the development of electrodeless plasma propulsion technology, having pioneered breakthrough electrodeless propulsion technology and tested it comprehensively in the U.S.

Recently published online – Fundamentals of Ionized Gases: Basic Topics in Plasma Physics

Recently published online –

Fundamentals of Ionized Gases: Basic Topics in Plasma Physics

Author Boris M. Smirnov

Details of the book can be found here

Sweet smell of success- Impedans in e-nose project

I got a mention in the national press, here in Ireland on Friday. My company worked with Intellisence, a medical sensor company in Belfast on an e-nose project. The basic idea is to sample gas and ionise it in order to measure the light output and characterise the contents. Like smelling the contents.

Plasma whiz kid produces a star in a jar

Another story on fusion. This time a young kid who built a plasma reactor in his garage. I watched the video. Inspiring and over the top at the same time. But, he got to meet the president of the USA. I am sure he has a futue as a scientist and inventor of some note. We do not have many examples for young kids of scientific heros.

Fusion in the cloud

My apologies to the techies who thought this was about the web. No sorry, this is about real science. The paper talks about neutron fluxes from electrical discharges in clouds. I mentioned last week about warm matter. Well in the lightning it seems the plasma is hot enough to produce neutrons.

Plasma threat to modern society

One of the modern threats to our civalisation. A plasma burst from the sun can reach earth with devastatinbg consequences for our modern age. These plasma flares had little  impact on our grand parents because the impact is through electrical phenomenon. The flares create very large electrical currents and induce magnetic fields that reach the earths surface.

Warm matter

In this interesting article for me the authors talk about creating warm matter. This is a plasma really. But most of the universe is in the form of plasma. The authors call it Warm Matter. I had not heard this term before. Warm matter is not some thing we see much on earth. A volcano spews out molten lava at temperatures of several thousand degrees celcius.

Interesting paper on HIPIMS

Interesting paper on HIPIMS plasma instabilities and transport - Arutiun Ehiasarian, Sheffield, http://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.3692172 or open access

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