Feiyu Li presents at 3rd MagNetUS meeting
At the 3rd annual MagNetUS gathering (June 12-15, Auburn, AL) of researchers across the US magnetized plasma community, Feiyu Li, a research scientist from the New Mexico Consortium, delivered a talk on his latest research toward observing Alfven wave parametric decay on the Large Plasma Device (LAPD) at UCLA.
The Alfven wave parametric decay instability (PDI) is an important nonlinear wave dissipation process that is conceived to potentially power the solar wind (a stream of plasma particles ejected from our Sun) and plasma turbulence. Yet, direct observation of PDI in complex space environments has been challenging.
Li and collaborators recently developed sophisticated 3D simulations and associated theoretical understandings to predict PDI excitation on LAPD — a 20 meters long magnetized plasma device. The close analogy between their 3D simulations and real LAPD geometry/parameters allowed them to map out detailed Alfven wave and plasma conditions needed to drive the instability.
Next, the team will conduct LAPD experiments to test the theoretical findings and devise novel methods to demonstrate the first measurement of the basic plasma process in the laboratory. Such laboratory studies will help elucidate the role of PDI in several space phenomena, e.g. solar coronal heating and solar wind acceleration.
This work was supported by the DOE grants DE-SC0021237, DE-SC0023893 and NASA grant 80NSSC23K0695.