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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): Sergey R. Kamaletdinov, Ian H. Hutchinson, Ivan Y. Vasko, Anton V. Artemyev, Ajay Lotekar, and Forrest Mozer We present Magnetospheric Multiscale observations showing large numbers of slow electron holes with speeds clustered near the local minimum of double-humped velocity distribution functions of background ions. Theoretical computations show that slow electron holes can avoid the acceleration that othe... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127...
  • Author(s): Zhexin Zhao, Kenneth J. Leedle, Dylan S. Black, Olav Solgaard, Robert L. Byer, and Shanhui Fan The beat note generated by two near-infrared lasers can be used to compress an electron pulse with the duration of hundreds of optical cycles into a single density peak. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 164802] Published Thu Oct 14, 2021
  • Author(s): Jihoon Kim, Tianhong Wang, Vladimir Khudik, and Gennady Shvets We demonstrate that a long-propagating plasma bubble executing undulatory motion can be produced in the wake of two copropagating laser pulses: a near-single-cycle injector and a multicycle driver. When the undulation amplitude exceeds the analytically derived threshold, highly localized injections ... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 164801] Published Tue Oct 12, 2021
  • Author(s): Kazuki Matsuo, Takayoshi Sano, Hideo Nagatomo, Toshihiro Somekawa, King Fai Farley Law, Hiroki Morita, Yasunobu Arikawa, and Shinsuke Fujioka Ablative Rayleigh-Taylor instability growth was investigated to elucidate the fundamental physics of thermal conduction suppression in a magnetic field. Experiments found that unstable modulation growth is faster in an external magnetic field. This result was reproduced by a magnetohydrodynamic...
  • Author(s): Zheng Gong, Karen Z. Hatsagortsyan, and Christoph H. Keitel Interaction of an ultrastrong short laser pulse with nonprepolarized near-critical density plasma is investigated in an ultrarelativistic regime, with an emphasis on the radiative spin polarization of ejected electrons. Our particle-in-cell simulations show explicit correlations between the angle re... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 165002] Published Tue Oct 12, 2021
  • Author(s): P. S. Pyakurel, M. A. Shay, J. F. Drake, T. D. Phan, P. A. Cassak, and J. L. Verniero Observations in Earth’s turbulent magnetosheath downstream of a quasiparallel bow shock reveal a prevalence of electron-scale current sheets favorable for electron-only reconnection where ions are not coupled to the reconnecting magnetic fields. In small-scale turbulence, magnetic structures associa... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 155101] Published Thu...
  • Author(s): P. Helander and G. G. Plunk A family of rigorous upper bounds on the growth rate of local gyrokinetic instabilities in magnetized plasmas is derived from the evolution equation for the Helmholtz free energy. These bounds hold for both electrostatic and electromagnetic instabilities, regardless of the number of particle species... [Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 155001] Published Tue Oct 05, 2021