Laboratory Space Physics: Investigating the Physics of Space Plasmas in the Laboratory [CL]

Laboratory experiments provide a valuable complement to explore the fundamental physics of space plasmas without the limitations inherent to spacecraft measurements. Specifically, experiments overcome the restriction that spacecraft measurements are made at only one (or a few) points in space, enable greater control of the plasma conditions and applied perturbations, can be reproducible, and are orders of magnitude less expensive than launching spacecraft. Here I highlight key open questions about the physics of space plasmas and identify the aspects of these problems that can potentially be tackled in laboratory experiments. Several past successes in laboratory space physics provide concrete examples of how complementary experiments can contribute to our understanding of physical processes at play in the solar corona, solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, and outer boundary of the heliosphere. I present developments on the horizon of laboratory space physics, identifying velocity space as a key new frontier, highlighting new and enhanced experimental facilities, and showcasing anticipated developments to produce improved diagnostics and innovative analysis methods. A strategy for future laboratory space physics investigations will be outlined, with explicit connections to specific fundamental plasma phenomena of interest.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Howes
Tue, 13 Feb 18

Comments: Invited paper from APS DPP 2017 Plenary Review Talk, 30 pages, 489 references