University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Space Physics Seminar

Tuesday, March 20th 2018
12:20 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: David Malaspina, LASP, University of Colorado
Subject: Plasma Boundaries: Bridging Macro-Scale and Micro-Scale Plasma Physics

Plasma physics research is frequently focused on either macro-scale or micro-scale processes, often treating them as independent. Yet recent advances in spacecraft instrumentation, simulation, and laboratory studies are breaking down that paradigm, demonstrating that interactions between large and small scales are critical to understand and predict the behavior of systems as diverse as laboratory plasmas, the solar wind, and the terrestrial magnetosphere. In each of these systems, plasma boundaries act as a bridge between scales. Macro-scale plasma motions drive boundary formation, micro-scale instabilities develop or are spatially sorted as a consequence of these boundaries, and finally, the aggregate effect of many micro-scale interactions modifies the macro-scale system. Examples of interaction between macro- and micro-scale physical processes mediated by plasma boundaries in laboratory plasmas, the solar wind and the terrestrial inner magnetosphere will be discussed, with a focus on observational data.

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