September 21, 2017
Professor David Schaffner from Bryn Mawr College will present "Heliospheric-Relevant Plasma Turbulence in the Laboratory". Free pizza and everyone welcome to attend.
The heliosphere is an extremely rich laboratory for the study of plasma turbulence. However, its exploration is restricted by the limitations associated with remote observation and direct measurements through satellites. In this talk, I will discuss a different approach to the examination of heliospherically-relevant turbulence using a laboratory-based plasma experiment. With a specialized plasma source, magnetically dynamic plasma can be produced in a wind-tunnel-like environment which can mimic certain aspects of astrophysical magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. I will explain the conditions through which this type of plasma can be created and then give an overview of the myriad of statistical techniques we use to understand this plasma’s turbulence characteristics. Using these metrics, we can compare the laboratory plasma to various regions of the heliosphere, including the solar wind and the magnetosheath. By utilizing the controlled conditions of the plasma in the laboratory, we can complement results from space physics and computer simulation analyses to generate a more comprehensive picture of heliospheric turbulence.