Plasma Physics


The Plasma and Pulsed Power Laboratory, Physics Department Technion was established in 1997. Since then a variety of research projects related to current carrying pulsed plasma were carried out by graduate students supervised by Prof. Yakov Krasik and his colleagues from Israel and new-immigrant scientists from FUSSR.

plasmaPlasma is considered to be the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma and dark matter). In fact, plasma (electrons and ionized atoms) is present almost everywhere: inside planet cores, in stars, in the inter-stars space, in the upper layers of the atmosphere, etc. Without plasma one cannot image a modern world: plasma is a key component in the production of electronic boards for computers, in lightening diverting devices, in TV’s. Plasma is used for disinfection purposes in medicine and for the modification of material surfaces. However, the main interest in plasma is related to the production of electrical energy using thermonuclear fusion reactors. In fact, this seems to be the only method which can supply efficient and clean electrical energy in our increasingly demanding world.

 polarIn the Plasma and Pulsed Power laboratory we are carrying out research on various plasma sources which can be used for the generation of relativistic and high-current electron beams. These beams can efficiently transfer their energy to high-power microwave radiation and the latter can be used to transfer energy over long distances without the use of cables. Also, we are studying the interaction of such extremely high-power radiation (hundreds of Megawatts) with plasma resulting in intriguing non-linear effects not studied so far. Additional research is related to the generation of extreme states of matter and non-ideal plasma which is realized during underwater electrical explosion of wires and wire arrays. In these experiments pressures up to several tens of Mega Bars are realized similar to those expected in giant planets and stars. This research is extremely important to the verification of various conductivity models and Equation of States and is in the regime known as Warm Dense Plasma. All experimental research is supported by complicated magneto-hydrodynamic modeling as well as electrodynamic and Particle-in-Cell modeling of the processes occurring in plasmas.

The laboratory is well equipped with unique pulse power generators operating at peak power up to tens of GW and current amplitudes up to 1 Mega Amperes in a timescale from nanoseconds to microseconds. To diagnose the plasma, microwaves and charged particle beams, various time- and space-resolved optical, x-ray, microwave, laser and spectroscopic diagnostics are used.

The results of our research can be found in leading physics journals like PRL, APL, PoP, JAP, IEEE Trans. Plasma Science, etc. Our graduate students publish 8 papers on average annually. 16 PhD and 12 MSc students have graduated from our laboratory and work at present in hi-tech companies and National Institutes in Israel and abroad. Our graduates have been accepted as postdocs in leading world-recognized scientific laboratories such as the Imperial College and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Four of our students have received prestigious highly competitive international awards. One student has received an IPS award.


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