Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the plasma Topic

Plasmas - The Greatest Show on Earth

by Kathy Chambers 24 Jun, 2013 in Products and Content

Perhaps the most beautiful and eerie displays of light in our sky are a phenomenon known as the auroras. This natural glow of light in the sky in high latitude regions usually displays ribbons of colors from a fluorescent green to brilliant purple to a vivid crimson somewhat like an unexpected beautiful sunrise or sunset.  Observers often call it the greatest show on Earth.

Auroras are triggered by geomagnetic storms when gusts of solar plasma wind strike the Earth’s magnetic field; charged particles rain down over the north and south magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere and causing the air to glow.

Related Topics: ambient-gas, auroras, geomagnetic storms, microwave thrusters, nanomaterials, OSTI collections, plasma, SciTech Connect, spaceship propulsion, William Watson

Read more...

Free-Electron Lasers move discovery into warp speed

by Kathy Chambers 26 Mar, 2013 in Products and Content
An illustration of the Chandra spacecraft, an orbiting X-ray telescope.

Scientific research being performed today using free-electron lasers could be fodder for the next James Bond or Star Wars movie but it is way better than science fiction and it is real. 

Almost everything we know about the laws of nature and how and why we react to the world around us took many centuries to develop. However, recent free-electron laser research breakthroughs are shedding light on these fundamental processes of life and moving scientific discovery into warp speed.

Related Topics: atomic-scale, free-electron lasers, Linac Coherent Light Source, plasma, scientists, ultrabright, x-rays

Read more...