An ultraheated plasma models the most extreme places in the universe
The plasma made by Hamburg physicists is a good candidate for such tests because it was somehow more extreme than before. Because it was really dense, the electrical couplings — the interactions between the charged particles inside — were very strong. Interacting plasma has always been an item on the wish list and has been a technical challenge for plasma ultrahole physicists, says Steven Rolston, a pioneer in the field and a University of Maryland scientist who did not participate in the research. “Actually, plasmas haven’t been very popular,” he says. When plasma atoms become charged ions, he says if there is enough time, their potential electrical energy can be generated and converted, dominating the interactions they combine.
Because it is very difficult to engineer and reach space in laboratories, highly coupled plasmas are mostly unexplored soils for physicists. They are a state of matter that scientists do not yet fully understand and want to explore further.
Part of the success of the new experiment, according to Juliette Simonet, who led the Hamburg team, comes from gathering experts in ultrafast and ultrafast physics. As a result, the use of very cold and controlled atoms was the focus of the experiment and was very fast as the main tool for manipulating a laser. “It’s a great collaboration between the two areas of research,” he says.
The machine built by his team allowed researchers to track what was done directly after the electrons broke through the atoms. In past experiments, physicists only deduced what was happening by measuring other aspects of the plasma. Here, it was determined that the laser pulses caused the electron temperature to rise by more than 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit, for a moment, before cooling again in the face of the ion’s pull. “This is above all that has been seen so far,” Simonet says of this specific observation.
According to Killian, so far such details have also escaped the theories of physicists. “Many of the standard theories that people use in plasmas that describe how to transport energy or transport it through the mass system don’t work for that. [interaction] regime, ”he warned.
To make sure they understood what they were seeing, the Hamburg team resorted to computer calculations. Because the plasma was so small, Mario Grossman, a graduate student in the group and the author of the research, says they can calculate how each plasma particle can interact with others. To describe the noise in a crowded room was like asking the computer to gather the details of the conversations between each of the two people.
For their 8,000 particle system, the computer had to wait up to 22 days to get results. Impressively, the simulated plasma particles did what the researchers did in their experiment to see what the real particles were doing. This simulation approach, however, is not practical for larger naturally occurring plasma.
“Most of the theory has been really kind of raw force – let me put it on a big computer and calculate the interactions,” which is small in scale, “Rolston said. they would move away, forget small particles, and predict the behavior of the plasma in its overall behavior.
This type of theory will help physicists and researchers who study celestial bodies. Highly coupled plasmas can predict whether they can develop ripples or sustain electrical currents. These predictions can be tested in Earth laboratory experiments and can provide an evolution of white dwarf dwarfs in space or even fusion with each other. “Initially we have super-coupled plasma,” says Wessels-Staarmann. “The interesting thing would be to really maintain that coupling, so you can help what’s going on in the white dwarf.”