Jun 24, 2021

Giant lasers help re-create supernovas’ explosive, mysterious physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Learning the results sparked a moment of joyous celebration, Park says: high fives to everyone.

“This is some of the first experimental evidence of the formation of these collisionless shocks,” says plasma physicist Francisco Suzuki-Vidal of Imperial College London, who was not involved in the study. “This is something that has been really hard to reproduce in the laboratory.”

The team also discovered that electrons had been accelerated by the shock waves, reaching energies more than 100 times as high as those of particles in the ambient plasma. For the first time, scientists had watched particles surfing shock waves like the ones found in supernova remnants.

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