Instabilities, Turbulence and Transport in Cosmic Magnetic Fields
Magnetic fields play a fundamental role in many astrophysical systems. This is a consequence of the fact that the latter are most often composed of a dominant plasma component. Prominent examples of cosmic magnetic fields are the solar corona and wind, or the interstellar and intergalactic plasma. In many cases the kinetic energy density of the plasma and the magnetic energy density are of the same order so that neither a test particle nor a test wave description can be justified but rather a self-consistent treatment has to be developed.
Subject of the Research Unit is an analysis of the profound implications of the non-negligible mutual influences for the instabilities, the turbulence and the transport processes in cosmic magnetic fields. The focus will be on studies of fundamental physical processes by analytical, numerical as well as experimental means. The results will be applied to astrophysical systems.
Given the ubiquitous presence of magnetic fields in cosmic plasmas, the results of the research are applicable to a variety of astrophysical systems like the solar corona and solar wind, the interstellar medium or galactic halos as well as to laboratory plasma scenarios like, e.g., fusion devices, magnetic reconnection, and plasma eruption experiments These research activities will be pursued with a nearly unchanged composition of the Research Unit, because at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum continues to exist a unique constellation of several strong groups with highest expertise in theoretical and experimental plasma physics, theoretical and observational astrophysics, computational physics as well as in numerical mathematics.