A wild twist on modern technology could lead to nuclear fusion

lasers are Useful for many things. They made CDs work (when they were still a thing). They also provide hours of entertainment for cats (and their humans). But they can also create magnetic conditions similar to the Sun’s surface in a laboratory, according to new research from scientists at Osaka University. And it could help in a wide range of other scientific disciplines, from solar astronomy to fusion.

The experiment used a high-powered laser known as the Gecko XII at the Institute of Laser Engineering at Osaka University. Originally designed for fusion experiments, this laser is powerful enough to vaporize a piece of plastic if focused on it. Or, more accurately, it is powerful enough to turn it into plasma.

The researchers did just that. He zapped a small piece of plastic with a Gecko XII that sat on top of a magnet emitting a weak magnetic field. The laser blast, which lasted only about 500 picoseconds, created a high-energy plasma that distorted the already weak magnetic field above the sample. The combination of a weak magnetic field and plasma created a condition known as “net electron outflow.”

The UT video discusses the creation of an artificial magnetosphere.

This phenomenon is believed to play a significant role in other, much larger astronomical events, such as solar flares and magnetic storms on the Sun’s surface. In these large-scale examples, the field’s electron mobility is known as a magnetic reconnection, where a characteristic’s magnetic field connects back to the base magnetic connection of the body from which it emerges.

Re-creating these features on a small scale in the laboratory has never been done before, but the Osaka researchers believe that their electron outflow, created by a combination of a magnet and laser-induced plasma, may be the closest thing that can happen. We will have to do. Able to study these phenomena on Earth.

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Scaling solar physics level phenomena to more manageable sizes is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but net electron flow is helpful in other areas as well. As noted above, Gekko was initially designed to work on inertial confinement fusion, which may help govern a better understanding of microscopic-level electron dynamics.

Another UT video discussing the artificial magnetosphere.

Overall, this experiment represents further steps towards understanding fundamental physics and is applicable to a wide range of macroscale phenomena. This shows that lasers, if leveraged properly, are much more useful than convincing your dog to run into a wall.

This article is originally from . was published on universe today by Andy Tomaswick. Read the original article here.

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