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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): Matt Landreman and Elizabeth Paul Magnetic-field configurations that improve confinement of fusion plasmas in stellarators can be achieved more precisely than previously thought, according to a numerical study. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 035001] Published Tue Jan 18, 2022
  • Author(s): Q. Z. Lv, E. Raicher, C. H. Keitel, and K. Z. Hatsagortsyan A setup of a unique x-ray source is put forward employing a relativistic electron beam interacting with two counterpropagating laser pulses in the nonlinear few-photon regime. In contrast to Compton scattering sources, the envisaged x-ray source exhibits an extremely narrow relative bandwidth of the... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 024801] Published Thu Jan 13, 2022
  • Author(s): Haotian Chen and Liu Chen The role of self-generated zonal flows in the collisionless trapped-electron-mode (CTEM) turbulence is a long-standing open issue in tokamak plasmas. Here, we show, for the first time, that the zonal flow excitation in the CTEM turbulence is formally isomorphic to that in the ion temperature gradien... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 025003] Published Wed Jan 12, 2022
  • Author(s): Peiyun Shi, Prabhakar Srivastav, M. Hasan Barbhuiya, Paul A. Cassak, Earl E. Scime, and M. Swisdak In a first for a laboratory plasma experiment, non-Maxwellian electron velocity distribution functions have been measured during electron-only magnetic reconnection, showing evidence of bidirectional flows away from the X-point that are consistent with magnetospheric observations. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 025002] Published Tue Jan 11...
  • Author(s): Fabio Bacchini, Francesco Pucci, Francesco Malara, and Giovanni Lapenta With first-principles kinetic simulations, we show that a large-scale Alfvén wave (AW) propagating in an inhomogeneous background decays into kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs), triggering ion and electron energization. We demonstrate that the two species can access unequal amounts of the initial AW energy... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 025101] Published Mon Jan 10, 2022
  • Author(s): M. Cvejić, D. Mikitchuk, E. Kroupp, R. Doron, P. Sharma, Y. Maron, A. L. Velikovich, A. Fruchtman, I. E. Ochs, E. J. Kolmes, and N. J. Fisch Using detailed spectroscopic measurements, highly resolved in both time and space, a self-generated plasma rotation is demonstrated using a cylindrical implosion with a preembedded axial magnetic field (${B}_{z0}$). The rotation direction is found to depend on the direction of ${B}_{z0}$ and its...
  • Author(s): F. Stefani, J. Forbriger, Th. Gundrum, T. Herrmannsdörfer, and J. Wosnitza We report Alfvén-wave experiments with liquid rubidium at the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Reaching up to 63 T, the pulsed magnetic field exceeds the critical value of 54 T at which the Alfvén speed coincides with the sound speed. At this threshold, we observe a period doubling of an appl... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 275001] Published Wed Dec 29, 2021