Events at Physics
Events on Monday, March 20th, 2023
- Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
- Deciphering the Non-Thermal Universe with First Principles Modeling of Plasma Turbulence
- Time: 12:00 pm
- Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
- Speaker: Luca Comisso, Columbia University
- Abstract: Understanding the origin of non-thermal particles and radiation that are commonly observed from a variety of astrophysical sources represents the most promising opportunity to uncover the physics of these astrophysical systems. In systems such as the Sun, neutron stars, black holes, and astrophysical jets, the dissipation of large reservoirs of magnetic energy provides the most likely path toward particle acceleration and copious radiative emission. In view of the enormous scale separation between the energy-carrying scale and the plasma kinetic scales, turbulence is a natural candidate for converting the available magnetic energy into particle kinetic energy and radiation. In this talk, I will outline recent developments in our understanding of the physics underlying particle acceleration in turbulent plasmas, including the role of magnetic reconnection and radiative losses. I will also highlight the most important implications for understanding the non-thermal emission from several high-energy astrophysical systems, especially for Pulsar Wind Nebulae and Gamma-Ray Bursts. Lastly, I will briefly highlight the future prospects of this research program.