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May the Force be with You November 12, 2008

Posted by keithkchan in Journal club.

Today, we don’t have the usual journal club. Instead I’ll talk about a more interesting paper (seriously). In Scientific American and else where, they report Bamford et al put the concept of magnetic shield into action. The original paper is published in Plasma and Controlled Fusion.

When I watched cartoon in my childhood, I often saw that the spaceship can put up some sort of force field to protect itself from radiation or more often enemy’s attack. Now Bamford et al have takena step toward realizing this kind of shield. Actually, the main potential application of this kind of device is to shield the spaceship in outer space from the dangerous radiation from the Sun. On the earth, we are protected from the lethal radiation by the atmosphere. Without the protection from the atmosphere, the energetic particles from the Sun can penetrate deep inside our body and change our DNA. This will cause various genetic diseases and causes mutations. We may see X-men in the street, not just in the theater.
In that paper, the researchers shot a fast flowing magnetized hydrogenic plasma on the dipole field, and they found that the dipole field was able to deflect the plasma, so that the central region of the magnetic field was devoid of plasma. They also did a computer simulation, and the simulation result agreed well with the experiment that the magnetic field region act as a diamagnetic cavity.
This paper is the still preliminary, more work needs to done, but the result is clearly exciting. However, we note the shield can only deflect the radiation from the Sun, but not the high energy cosmic rays.



1. lukabrazi - November 13, 2008

Well, well, well 🙂 good article indeed ! no matter if that “shield can only deflect the radiation from the Sun, but not the high energy cosmic rays”, soon it will be able to deflect not only high energy cosmic rays, but even more powerful agents, maybe asteroides or things like that, with high cinetical energy… only if scientists work harder 🙂
I have a question about cold fusion…. is it possible to perform cold fusion? once I read something adout that in one scientific journal, but didn’t search more information about it.

2. keithkchan - November 13, 2008

Thanks for your comment. I have no expertise in fusion or whatsoever. This is the first time I read an article in Plasma and Controlled Fusion! So I really don’t much about cold fusion. It seems to me this field is kind of out of flavour, and I am rather skeptical about it.

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