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- 08/14/17--03:56: Properties of a massive galaxy 800 million years after the Big Bang
- 11/02/17--08:28: Ions in the spotlight
New data from NASA's Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun—calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail.
Turbulence, the violently unruly disturbance of plasma, can prevent plasma from growing hot enough to fuel fusion reactions. Long a puzzling concern of researchers has been the impact on turbulence of atoms recycled from the walls of tokamaks that confine the plasma. These atoms are neutral, meaning that they have no charge and are thus unaffected by the tokamak's magnetic field or plasma turbulence, unlike the electrons and ions—or atomic nuclei—in the plasma. Yet, experiments have suggested that the neutral atoms may be significantly enhancing the edge plasma turbulence, hence the theoretical interest in their effects.
Searches for the most distant galaxies have now probed earlier than the first billion years in the history of the universe, early enough to start seeing the primary effects of the first stars: the reionization of neutral atoms.
The results of a research group from the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg has been given a special place in Nature Photonics. An accompanying "News & Views" article in the print version of the science journal highlights the work of the team led by Alexander Lambrecht, Julian Schmidt, Dr. Leon Karpa and Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz. In their article "Long lifetimes and eﬀective isolation of ions in optical and electrostatic traps," the work group describes the method they used to prevent the previously unavoidable driven motion of trapped charged atoms.