By Topic

What Laboratory-Produced Plasma Structures Can Contribute to the Understanding of Cosmic Structures Both Large and Small

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

1 Author(s)

The tradition of the classical 1901 work by Birkeland [1] on aurora phenomena by laboratory terrella experiments was resumed by Alfvén [2], Cowling [3], Ferraro et al. [4], and by Bennett [5] in his terrella experiments. In 1954 [6] when experimenters accidentally produced in the laboratory structures later identified as diamagnetic vortex filaments, and in 1961 [7] when filaments, later identified as current-carrying paramagnetic plasma vortex structures (which are both electric motors and dynamos), were observed in the Z and theta-pinch experiments, this tradition was being further reestablished. It has been successfully argued [6], [8], [11], [20] that both of these types of vortices are force-free minimum-free-energy structures that spontaneously spring to life as readily as do thousands of spherical bubbles and water droplets during the splash of a breaking water wave. The Birkeland aurora filaments are a hybrid combination of these two basic types (paramagnetic and diamagnetic) of plasma vortices. It is to be expected that such structures on a cosmic scale play an important role in the cosmos, and indeed they do in the formation of galaxies, stars, binary stars, solar systems, solar prominences, solar flares, solar wind, comet tails, cosmic "strings" in the Crab nebula, string-like galactic clusters, expansion of the Universe, giant galactic jets, cosmic rays, sunspots, vortex rolls in sunspot penumbra, twinkling of radio stars by the density fluctuations in the ionosphere, turbulence at the interface between the solar wind and the earth's magnetosphere, etc.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 6 )