Plasmas in the Universe

Coppi, B., Ferrari, A., Sindoni, E.
Pub. date
January 2000
142 of Proceedings of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi"
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€151 / US$167 Excl. VAT
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This book illustrates new developments in the fields of space and solar physics, stellar physics, extragalactic physics and cosmology. It also elaborates upon the progress of laboratory plasma physics. One of the topics discussed is the existence of collective processes, both linear and non-linear, that can explain key elements of accretion physics, magnetic reconnection, the formation of ‘strange’ particle distributions, particle scattering phenomena, etc. Astrophysical plasma are dominated by turbulent or quasi-turbulent processes which interactively associate instabilities, radiation processes and plasma-wave scattering. The resulting scenario, which is outside thermodynamics and conventional statistical physics, is too difficult to describe theoretically, but today there are large-scale experiments and powerful computational tools allowing for the exploration of an almost similarly complex variety of phenomena. Several contributions to this book present indications of the influence of nonlinear phenomena in astrophysical applications. This work marks the fast growth of plasma astrophysics thanks to new observations in the high energy band of the spectrum on the one hand and the possibility of validating and bringing to light relevant new theories by increasingly sophisticated machines on the other.