Background

Plasma astrophysics is a discipline that is rapidly growing in scientific opportunity. This scientific fertility arises from the maturation of plasma theory, computation, and experimental techniques, combined with the surge in observational data.

Plasma astrophysics is defined here to include processes active in space, solar, and astrophysical plasmas. In many circumstances, a detailed understanding of the plasma physics under the specific space and astrophysical conditions holds the key to many long-standing mysteries. The practice of plasma astrophysics consists of diverse components: low energy density magnetized and unmagnetized basic plasma experiments, high energy density experiments, liquid metal experiments, analytic theory, fluid and kinetic computation, theoretical astrophysics, observations (space, solar, and astrophysical), and aspects of fusion experiments. (Some contributions to ongoing Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey on plasma astrophysics are listed here.)


Last update: November 14, 2009