STATE-OF-THE-ART SPACECRAFT THRUSTERS.
The Hall-effect thruster is an advanced propulsion system that uses electrical power provided by a spacecraft to generate thrust by ionizing and accelerating propellant to high velocities. Alec Gallimore (University of Michigan) will discuss the fundamental physics and state-of-the-art of these thrusters, which are now being considered for a variety of missions in deep space.
SUPERSONIC TURBULENCE AND STAR FORMATION
For more than 100 years, astronomers have built their theories of star formation around gravitational instability in star-forming clouds. New work over the last decade by Paolo Padoan (University of California at San-Diego) and others has pointed to an important connection between turbulence in these clouds and gravitational instability. In San Antonio, Padoan will present results of large-scale 3D numerical simulations that investigate the properties of supersonic magneto-hydrodynamic turbulence in star-forming clouds.
THE DYNAMOS AT THE CORES OF STARS
Deep within the interiors of some planets and stars there are turbulent flowing fluids that induce strong magnetic fields. In San Antonio, Stephan Fauve (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris) will review the mechanisms of such "dynamos" and their relevance for planetary and stellar magnetic fields. He will also present the results of a recent experiment displaying the generation of magnetic field by a fully turbulent flow of liquid sodium. This field can switch polarities at random, thus mimicking Earth's magnetic field reversals.
|Contact: Jason Bardi|
American Institute of Physics