08/20/2012 - 13:35

Researchers at a recent worldwide conference on fusion power have confirmed the surprising accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion that a top scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed. The model could serve as a starting point for overcoming the barrier.

08/17/2012 - 12:37

New research led by University of Warwick physicist Dr Kareem Osman has provided significant insight into how the solar wind heats up when it should not. The solar wind rushes outwards from the raging inferno that is our Sun, but from then on the wind should only get cooler as it expands beyond our solar system since there are no particle collisions to dissipate energy. However, the solar wind is surprisingly hotter than it should be, which has puzzled scientists for decades. Two new research papers led by Dr Osman may have solved that puzzle.

06/28/2012 - 14:42

A University of Washington lab has been working for more than a decade on fusion energy, harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun. But in one of the twists of scientific discovery, on the way the researchers found a potential solution to a looming problem in the electronics industry.

06/01/2012 - 15:09

A University of Iowa researcher wants you to visualize a plate of spaghetti when you think of the northern lights. Diffuse gas—called plasma—flows outward from the sun as the “solar wind” and carries with it magnetic field lines (“spaghetti”) from the sun. The entanglement between magnetic field lines (spaghetti) from the sun and other field lines (spaghetti) anchored in the Earth’s core occurs when these field lines are brought together by gusts of solar wind.

02/15/2012 - 13:58

These chunks of plasma, called coronal mass ejections, can also snap Earth's magnetic field lines, causing charged particles to speed toward Earth's magnetic poles; this, in turn, sets off the shimmering light shows we know as the northern and southern lights.

02/05/2012 - 11:38

Collective, or coordinated behavior is routine in liquids, where waves can occur as atoms act together. In a milliliter (mL) of liquid water, 1022 molecules bob around, colliding. When a breeze passes by, waves can form across the surface. These waves are not present in the same volume of air, where only 1019 gas molecules randomly move about.