American Physical Society

Postcards from the plasma edge

For magnetic fusion energy to fuel future power plants, scientists must find ways to control the interactions that take place between the volatile edge of the plasma and the walls that surround it in fusion ...

dateOct 28, 2014 in Plasma Physics
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Flexible, stretchable fire-ant rafts

What do Jell-O, toothpaste, and floating fire-ant rafts have in common? All are so-called "viscoelastic" materials, meaning that they can both resist flow under stress, like honey, and they can bounce back ...

dateNov 26, 2013 in General Physics
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Better combustion through plasma

Mix together air, fuel, and heat and you get combustion, the chemical reaction that powers most engines in planes, trains and automobiles. And if you throw in some ionized gas (plasma), it turns out, you can sustain combustion ...

dateNov 26, 2013 in Plasma Physics
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The physics of beer tapping

An old, hilarious if somewhat juvenile party trick involves covertly tapping the top of someone's newly opened beer bottle and then standing back as the suds foam out onto the floor.

dateNov 24, 2013 in General Physics
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