Jan 13, 2021

Storm in a cosmic teacup: A new paradigm for understanding plasma turbulence

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics, space

On the path to writing his Ph.D. dissertation, Lucio Milanese made a discovery—one that refocused his research, and will now likely dominate his thesis.

Milanese studies , a gas-like flow of ions and electrons that comprises 99 percent of the visible universe, including the Earth’s ionosphere, interstellar space, the , and the environment of stars. Plasmas, like other fluids, are often found in a turbulent state characterized by chaotic, unpredictable motion, providing multiple challenges to researchers who seek to understand the cosmic universe or hope to harness burning plasmas for fusion energy.

Milanese is interested in what physicist Richard Feynman called “the most important unsolved problem of classical physics”—turbulence. In this case, the focus is plasma turbulence, its nature and structure.

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