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This Week at Physics

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Events on Monday, November 26th, 2018

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Turbulent Dynamo in a Collisionless Magnetized Plasma
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 chamberlin hall
Speaker: Denis St-Onge, Princeton Univ.
Abstract: The Universe is magnetized. While magnetic-field strengths of just ~10-18 G are required to achieve this both in our Galaxy and in clusters of galaxies, observations of Faraday rotation, Zeeman splitting, and synchrotron emission all make the case of ubiquitous microgauss fields. That these systems are not content with hosting weaker fields is surprising, at least until one realizes that the energy density of a microgauss field is comparable to that of the observed turbulent motions. It is then natural to attribute the amplification and sustenance of (at least the random component of) the interstellar and intracluster magnetic fields to the fluctuation (or “turbulent”) dynamo. In this talk, we will explore the various ways in which plasma microphysics makes magnetic-field amplification in weakly collisional plasmas by macroscale turbulent motions possible, with application to the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters.
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