Tue19Nov20194:00 pmLewis Hall 101
Colloquium: Spectroscopy of Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas — Applications for Fusion Plasmas, Merging Neutron Stars, and Planetary Nebulae
Dr. Stuart Loch
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Spectroscopy of Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas: Applications for Fusion Plasmas, Merging Neutron Stars, and Planetary Nebulae
Plasmas are hot, ionized gases and are often called the fourth state of matter. Plasmas make up most of the observable Universe and laboratory plasmas have a wide range of research applications. Diagnosing the properties of plasmas presents a particular challenge, due to their temperatures and in the case of astrophysical plasmas, the large distances to the objects. Plasma spectroscopy represents a non-invasive method of diagnosing important plasma properties such as temperatures, densities, and elemental compositions. An overview is given of three research projects, involving the use of quantum mechanics calculations for diagnosis of laboratory plasmas. The projects involve measuring wall erosion rates from fusion plasma experiments, investigating the spectral emission from elements made in neutron star mergers, and the confirmation of a new atomic process found in planetary nebulae.