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Space plasma waves and turbulence

Research Achievements

Space plasma waves and turbulence

Oppenheim and his colleagues worked with IGERT trainees, Elizabeth Bass and Yann Tambouret, on simulations of ionospheric and meteor physics, to develop a greater understanding of space plasma waves and turbulence. Yann, a chemistry student doing his minor project in astronomy, investigated gradient-driven turbulence in the ionosphere using massively parallel, particle-in-cell, plasma simulations. This research makes it possible to connect radar measurements of ionospheric turbulence to the physical conditions that initiated that turbulence and to interpret radar data. Elizabeth simulates meteor ablation and ionization in order to interpret observations. This will enable researchers to better characterize the small particle environment of the solar system and its impacts on the Earth. "We are the only research group in the US - Oppenheim says - capable of performing massively parallel simulations to explore the non-linear, fully kinetic behavior of ionospheric plasmas."