Z-pinch in action

The plasma universe consists of swirling streams of electrons and ions flowing in filaments. There is a tendency for these filaments to repel at close range, and attract at greater distances. Within the shell of a planetary nebula are one or more plasma sheaths, or “double layers,” that act like capacitors, alternately storing and releasing electrical energy. The current flow alternately increases and decreases within the sheaths inside and outside the shell.
Charged particles in motion constitute an electric current. An electric current is accompanied by a magnetic field that wraps around the current and diminishes with the distance from it. The magnetic field gets stronger when more charged particles move in the same direction or when they move faster. Ions moving through the magnetic field are squeezed toward the axis. Plasma physicists refer to this as the “Bennett pinch”, Z-pinch. For example; the planetary nebula M2-9 (above) shows the classic hourglass, Z-pinch shape.
The electric discharge in a plasma cloud creates a double layer along its axis. Positive charge builds up on one side and negative charge on the other. A strong e-field exists between the sides and if enough current is applied the double layer glows, otherwise it is invisible and is described as “dark mode”.
Double layers and current filaments also respond to the interstellar electric currents in the circuit that threads through the galaxy. They are mostly dark mode phenomena because of their low current density, but the magnetic fields they produce are apparent and detectable in the z-pinch (Bennett pinch) zones that arise.


Credit: Stephen Smith

Z-pinch in action

The plasma universe consists of swirling streams of electrons and ions flowing in filaments. There is a tendency for these filaments to repel at close range, and attract at greater distances. Within the shell of a planetary nebula are one or more plasma sheaths, or “double layers,” that act like capacitors, alternately storing and releasing electrical energy. The current flow alternately increases and decreases within the sheaths inside and outside the shell.

Charged particles in motion constitute an electric current. An electric current is accompanied by a magnetic field that wraps around the current and diminishes with the distance from it. The magnetic field gets stronger when more charged particles move in the same direction or when they move faster. Ions moving through the magnetic field are squeezed toward the axis. Plasma physicists refer to this as the “Bennett pinch”, Z-pinch. For example; the planetary nebula M2-9 (above) shows the classic hourglass, Z-pinch shape.

The electric discharge in a plasma cloud creates a double layer along its axis. Positive charge builds up on one side and negative charge on the other. A strong e-field exists between the sides and if enough current is applied the double layer glows, otherwise it is invisible and is described as “dark mode”.

Double layers and current filaments also respond to the interstellar electric currents in the circuit that threads through the galaxy. They are mostly dark mode phenomena because of their low current density, but the magnetic fields they produce are apparent and detectable in the z-pinch (Bennett pinch) zones that arise.

Credit: Stephen Smith


Posted 7 months ago with 150 notes
Tagged:z-pinchM2-9planetary nebulaAstronomyplasma physics

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    Oh, so, not mitosis then? I love how the micro/nano world echoes mega-reality.
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