Michigan Institute of Plasma Science and EngineeringPlasma SciencePlasma EngineeringPlasma Science and Engineering

Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering

Welcome to the website of the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering! MIPSE is a community of faculty, staff and students at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University whose research and education programs are devoted to the advancement of the science and technology of plasmas. The breadth of research is impressive – from laser produced plasmas for particle acceleration to plasmas in the earth’s magnetosphere. We take pride in the excellence of the research and in the resulting societal benefits.

Self-organized plasma patterns on the surface of a liquid anode
By Yao Kovach/John Foster (Plasma Science and Technology Laboratory, NERS)

Self-organization is ubiquitous in nature ranging from the delicate structure of snowflakes to the spots on a leopard. Self-organization is observed in plasma physics as well, ranging from plasmoid formation in low pressure, rf plasmas to large-scale, magnetized structures observed on the surface of the sun. In this movie, self-organization patterns were observed on the surface of a liquid anode generated in an atmospheric pressure, DC glow discharge. Two types of patterns were observed: 1) concentric, double ring attachments at the surface of the liquid and 2) a rotating, multi-spoke-like attachment at the surface. The actual form of the pattern is sensitive to discharge current, but the origin of the self-organization is still not well understood.


Being a focal point for university-wide activities in plasmas, MIPSE: