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space plasma physics
     We use modern parallel computers to explore phenomena observed in Space Plasmas.  For example, recently X-rays have been observed coming from comets.  Many years ago we found that our computer models predicted that for conditions similar to those that exist in a cometary gas solar wind interaction energetic electrons are produced.  This mechanism can explain the cometary X-rays.
          Computer simulation of the artifical comet AMPTE, created in 1985 when a German satellite released and detonated a barium-lithium cannister.  A surprising result seen in both the observations and simulation was that the intial deflection of the ion clouds was not in the direction of the solar wind flow, but perpendicular to it.  QuickTime Movie shows flow of the solar wind magnetic field lines and the expansion of the AMPTE cloud.  For small image movie (630K) click here.  For larger image movie (7.4 MB) click here.  The calculations were done by Ross J. Bollens, using IBM ES/9000 computer at the Cornell National Supercomputer Facility.

recent publications
P. L. Pritchett, F. V. Coroniti, and V. K. Decyk, "Three-dimensional stability of thin quasi-neutral current sheets," J. of Geophysical Res. 101, 27, 413 (1996)

Ross J. Bollens, "Computer Modeling of Active Experiments in Space Plasmas", Ph. D. Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993.

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