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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): L. Bardóczi, N. C. Logan, and E. J. Strait We report the experimental observation of seed magnetic island formation by nonlinear three-wave coupling of magnetic island triplets. In this experiment, disruptive 2,1 islands are seeded by the coupling of 4,3 and 3,2 tearing modes to a central 1,1 sawtooth precursor. Three-wave interactions betwe... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 055002] Published Fri Jul 30, 2021
  • Author(s): J. Jara-Almonte and H. Ji Fully kinetic plasma simulations in combination with concepts from condensed matter physics, show that the transition from collisional (Sweet-Parker) reconnection to collisionless (Hall) reconnection may be viewed as a thermodynamic phase transition. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 055102] Published Thu Jul 29, 2021
  • Author(s): A. R. Christopherson, R. Betti, C. J. Forrest, J. Howard, W. Theobald, J. A. Delettrez, M. J. Rosenberg, A. A. Solodov, C. Stoeckl, D. Patel, V. Gopalaswamy, D. Cao, J. L. Peebles, D. H. Edgell, W. Seka, R. Epstein, M. S. Wei, M. Gatu Johnson, R. Simpson, S. P. Regan, and E. M. Campbell Hot electrons generated by laser-plasma instabilities degrade the performance of laser-fusion implosions by preheating the DT fuel and reducing core...
  • Author(s): Ashley Bransgrove, Bart Ripperda, and Alexander Philippov First-principles plasma simulations show that black holes can’t keep their magnetic fields. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 055101] Published Tue Jul 27, 2021
  • Author(s): Ida Svenningsson, Ola Embreus, Mathias Hoppe, Sarah L. Newton, and Tünde Fülöp Runaway electron populations seeded from the hot tail generated by the rapid cooling in plasma-terminating disruptions are a serious concern for next-step tokamak devices such as ITER. Here, we present a comprehensive treatment of the thermal quench, including the superthermal electron dynamics, hea... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 035001] Published Wed Jul 14...
  • Author(s): R. A. Baggott, S. J. Rose, and S. P. D. Mangles The charge states of ions in dense plasmas fluctuate due to collisional ionization and recombination. Here, we show how, by modifying the ion interaction potential, these fluctuations can mediate energy exchange between the plasma electrons and ions. Moreover, we develop a theory for this novel elec... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 035002] Published Wed Jul 14, 2021
  • Author(s): Lorenzo Sironi, Illya Plotnikov, Joonas Nättilä, and Andrei M. Beloborodov Relativistic magnetized shocks are a natural source of coherent emission, offering a plausible radiative mechanism for fast radio bursts (FRBs). We present first-principles 3D simulations that provide essential information for the FRB models based on shocks: the emission efficiency, spectrum, and po... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 035101] Published Tue Jul 13, 2021