Laboratory astrophysics

Laboratory astrophysics is the study of astrophysical phenomena in the laboratory (Earth- or space-based). This might include various aspects of astrochemistry (chemical reactions under extreme conditions of temperature, density, irradiation), plasma physics, spectroscopy, meteorite analysis, fluid dynamics, and magnetohydrodynamics.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Ion production and acceleration is ubiquitous in astrophysical objects but many questions still remain on the mechanisms at play and while laboratory plasmas provide an “accessible” regime, non-thermal ion acceleration has not been observed in the laboratory before the advent of high-power lasers. The authors collide two relativistic plasma flows and observe large energy difference of the protons coming out of the interaction region with or without an external magnetic field, qualitatively corroborating their 1D and 2D particle-in-cell simulations.

    • D. P. Higginson
    • , Ph. Korneev
    • , C. Ruyer
    • , R. Riquier
    • , Q. Moreno
    • , J. Béard
    • , S. N. Chen
    • , A. Grassi
    • , M. Grech
    • , L. Gremillet
    • , H. Pépin
    • , F. Perez
    • , S. Pikuz
    • , B. Pollock
    • , C. Riconda
    • , R. Shepherd
    • , M. Starodubtsev
    • , V. Tikhonchuk
    • , T. Vinci
    • , E. d’Humières
    •  & J. Fuchs
  • Research |

    Carbon-rich and oxygen-rich material coexist in a presolar grain originated by an outburst of a CO nova and found within the LaPaz Icefield 031117 meteorite. Condensation of both carbon and oxygen can thus happen in the same circumstellar environment, contrary to previous assumptions.

    • Pierre Haenecour
    • , Jane Y. Howe
    • , Thomas J. Zega
    • , Sachiko Amari
    • , Katharina Lodders
    • , Jordi José
    • , Kazutoshi Kaji
    • , Takeshi Sunaoshi
    •  & Atsushi Muto
  • Research | | open

    Magnetorotational Instability (MRI) has long been considered a possible mechanism to transport angular momentum allowing fast accretion in astrophysical objects, but its standard form with a vertical magnetic field has never been experimentally verified. The authors present an experimental demonstration of a spring-mass analogue of the standard MRI using water as working fluid and a spring to mimic the action of magnetic fields.

    • Derek M. H. Hung
    • , Eric G. Blackman
    • , Kyle J. Caspary
    • , Erik P. Gilson
    •  & Hantao Ji
  • Research | | open

    Sugars are known to form from the UV photoprocessing of ices under astrophysical conditions. Here, the authors report the detection of deoxyribose, the sugar of DNA, and other deoxysugars from the UV photoprocessing of H2O:CH3OH ice mixtures, which are compared with materials from carbonaceous meteorites.

    • Michel Nuevo
    • , George Cooper
    •  & Scott A. Sandford

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