Reading between the lines of highly turbulent plasmas (Vol. 48, No. 3)

A short sequence of solitons.

Study shows how to identify highly turbulent plasma signatures in the broadening of the shapes of lines emitted by ions and atoms within.

Plasma, the ionised state of matter found in stars, is still not fully understood, largely due to its instability. Astrophysicists have long-since sought to develop models that can account for the turbulent motions inside plasma, based on observing line shapes emitted by atoms and ions in the plasma. Turbulences are typically detected through the observation of broadened lines due to the Doppler effect, similar to the principle behind radar. In a new study published recently, the authors develop an iterative simulation model that accurately predicts, for the first time, the changes to the line shape in the presence of strong plasma turbulence. Ultimately, the authors aim to provide a system for assessing plasma turbulence that is valid for both a stellar atmosphere and the ITER tokamak designed to generate fusion energy.

R. Stamm, I. Hannachi, M. Meireni, H. Capes, L. Godbert-Mouret, M. Koubiti, J. Rosato, Y. Marandet, M. Dimitrijević and Z. Simić, Line shapes in turbulent plasmas, Eur. Phys. J. D 71, 68 (2017)