Recently, the temperature has suddenly dropped. It feels like autumn has arrived. In autumn, the sun feels gentler than in summer, and I really like this season. Hello, I’m Suzuki, a first-year master’s student at Inomoto Lab. Well, the sun is psychologically close, but physically it is far away. In the I laboratory, we are mainly conducting research and development related to “nuclear fusion”, which is said to be the sun on the earth, which has dragged the physics of the distant sun down to the surface of the earth, mainly through experiments.
In experiments in the laboratory, fusion reactions do not occur, but plasma is generated using the UTST plasma fusion experiment on the Kashiwa Campus. It takes less than 1 ms from the generation of plasma to the completion of the plasma experiment, so we cannot observe it with the naked eye. Instead, we use a high-speed camera or the probe’s “eyes” to analyze the experimental results.
The picture is the state of the plasma taken with the high-speed camera that I set up the other day. The light is too strong to see anything, or the visible range is too narrow to understand what is happening. This photo is a relatively beautiful photo, even though it took a little time and effort to shoot. The white areas in the photograph indicate the presence of high-energy plasma. In the first picture, the plasma is being generated, and it only exists faintly above and below. In the second photo, a phenomenon called “magnetic reconnection” has occurred, and you can see a strong horizontal luminescence due to the release of high energy. In the third image, the plasma after magnetic reconnection floats, and after this the luminescence is attenuated. It is an event in only 500 μs. Also, the black shadows in the vertical and horizontal straight lines seen in the background are probes, which are another “eye”. Probes are made by yourself according to the experimental data you want, and are accumulated as a legacy of the laboratory.
In order to make the sun physically closer to us, Iken conducts plasma experiments and research through trial and error every day.
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Thank you in advance for your kind understanding.