Item #611 Experimental Study of Ionized Matter Projected across a Magnetic Field in Physical Review 104, 2, October 15, 1956, pp. 292-300 [PLASMA GUN & PLASMOIDS]. Winston H. Bostick.

Experimental Study of Ionized Matter Projected across a Magnetic Field in Physical Review 104, 2, October 15, 1956, pp. 292-300 [PLASMA GUN & PLASMOIDS]

FIRST EDITION IN NEAR FINE ORIGINAL WRAPS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLASMA GUN AS WELL AS THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF PLASMOIDS, coherent structures of plasma and magnetic fields that Bostick argues are force-free, charge-carrying ‘strings’ (Bostick, 1956). The front page of the New York Times heralded Bostick’s discovery with a headline stating “Physicist ‘Creates’ Universe in a Test Tube; Atom Gun Produces Galaxies and Gives Clues to Creation” (NYT, Dec. 12, 1956, 1).

In his laboratory, the physicist Winston H. Bostick “created a simple ‘plasma gun’ consisting of a 4-inch diameter glass jar around which he wound a wire carrying an electric current that created a small magnetic field. Most of the air was removed from the jar and two titanium wires were connected to a high-voltage, high-current electric power source.

“On flicking the power switch, a 10,000 ampere electric current passed through the titanium wires, instantly vaporizing them and creating a puff of ionized gas (a plasma) traveling at 450,000 miles per hour. Bostick noted that the puffs of plasma formed distinctive shapes that resembled galaxies at various stages of aging and formation. Bostick called his laboratory produced plasma entities, ‘plasmoids’ (Talbott, Plasma-Universe Website).

Bostick wrote: “Plasmoids appear to be plasma cylinders elongated in the direction of the magnetic field. Plasmoids possess a measurable magnetic moment, a measurable translational speed, a transverse electric field, and a measurable size. Plasmoids can interact with each other, seemingly by reflecting off one another. Their orbits can also be made to curve toward one another. Plasmoids can be made to spiral to a stop if projected into a gas at a [given] Hg pressure. Plasmoids can also be made to smash each other into fragments” (Bostick, 1956).

Plasmoids “have been proposed to explain natural phenomena such as ball lightning, magnetic bubbles in the magnetosphere, and objects in cometary tails, in the solar wind, in the solar atmosphere, and in the heliospheric current sheet” (Betts, Astrophysics, 386).

Bostick also believed that his “experiment bears out the theory of sun-spots and solar prominences propounded by Professor Alfvén, of Stockholm, who is one of the world’s leading ‘magnetohydrodynamicists’ (The New Scientist, January 24, 1957, 26).

Furthermore, in June of 2015, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have for the first time simulated the formation of structures called "plasmoids" during Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), a process that could simplify the design of fusion facilities known as tokamaks. The findings, reported in the journalPhysical Review Letters, involve the formation of plasmoids in the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. These round structures carry current that could eliminate the need for solenoids - large magnetic coils that wind down the center of today's tokamaks - to initiate the plasma and complete the magnetic field that confines the hot gas."Understanding this behavior will help us produce plasmas that undergo fusion reactions indefinitely," said Fatima Ebrahimi, a physicist at both Princeton University and PPPL, and the paper's lead author” (Physics Organization Website, Plasma Physics, June 1, 2015). Item #611

CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Institute of Physics. 4to. 10.5 x 7.75 inches (262 x 194mm), pp. 273-355. Bound in bright and clean original wraps with only the slightest of edge wear. Near fine condition in every way.

Price: $300.00