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The Plasma Universe

On the occasion of the APS DPP 50th Anniversary Curt Suplee was commissioned to write "The Plasma Universe”. This richly illustrated full color book reveals, for the first time, the exciting world of plasma physics to a non-technical audience. The book describes the important developments of the field of plasma physics during the past 50 years, including biographical information on some of the key contributors to that development. (First published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press and reprinted in 2011.)

The Plasma Universe book has been made freely available for download in PDF form:

The Plasma Universe (PDF - 45.9MB)


From Physical Review

  • Author(s): Xinlu Xu, David B. Cesar, Sébastien Corde, Vitaly Yakimenko, Mark J. Hogan, Chan Joshi, Agostino Marinelli, and Warren B. Mori When a femtosecond duration and hundreds of kiloampere peak current electron beam traverses the vacuum and high-density plasma interface, a new process, that we call relativistic transition radiation (RTR), generates an intense $∼100$ as pulse containing $∼1$ terawatt power of coherent vacuum ultrav... [Phys...
  • Author(s): L. Bardóczi and T. E. Evans We report empirical observations of magnetic island heteroclinic bifurcation for the first time. This behavior is observed in interacting coupled $2/1$ tearing modes in the core of a DIII-D tokamak plasma. Poincaré maps constrained by measured magnetic amplitudes and phasing show bifurcation from he... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 085003] Published Fri Feb 26, 2021
  • Author(s): G. M. Gorman, M. K. Warrens, S. J. Bradshaw, and T. C. Killian Researchers have demonstrated that an ultracold neutral plasma can be magnetically confined, paving the way toward experiments that simulate its hot astrophysical counterparts. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 085002] Published Thu Feb 25, 2021
  • Author(s): Jiawei Yan et al. The spectroscopic techniques for time-resolved fine analysis of matter require coherent x-ray radiation with femtosecond duration and high average brightness. Seeded free-electron lasers (FELs), which use the frequency up-conversion of an external seed laser to improve temporal coherence, are ideal ... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 084801] Published Tue Feb 23, 2021
  • Author(s): G. Pérez-Callejo, E. V. Marley, D. A. Liedahl, L. C. Jarrott, G. E. Kemp, R. F. Heeter, J. A. Emig, M. E. Foord, M. B. Schneider, S. J. Rose, and J. S. Wark In a plasma of sufficient size and density, photons emitted within the system have a probability of being reabsorbed and reemitted multiple times—a phenomenon known in astrophysics as resonant scattering. This effect alters the ratio of optically thick to optically thin lines, depending...
  • Author(s): A. M. Hansen, K. L. Nguyen, D. Turnbull, B. J. Albright, R. K. Follett, R. Huff, J. Katz, D. Mastrosimone, A. L. Milder, L. Yin, J. P. Palastro, and D. H. Froula We measure cross-beam energy transfer (CBET) saturation by ion heating in a gas-jet plasma characterized using Thomson scattering. A wavelength-tunable ultraviolet (UV) probe laser beam interacts with four intense UV pump beams to drive large-amplitude ion-acoustic waves. For...
  • Author(s): James D. Sadler, Christopher A. Walsh, and Hui Li Braginskii extended magnetohydrodynamics is used to model transport in collisional astrophysical and high energy density plasmas. We show that commonly used approximations to the ${α}_{⊥}$ and ${β}_{⊥}$ transport coefficients [e.g., Epperlein and Haines, Phys. Fluids 29, 1029 (1986) ] have a subtle i... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 075001] Published Mon...