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Special Seminar: Phase Transitions in Strongly Coupled Plasma
August 1 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Broadly defined as a system of unbound charged particles, plasmas are found across a vast parameter space and occupy >99% of the visible matter in the universe. In the low-temperature and high-density regime, interparticle interactions dominate the overall plasma behavior and can bring about exotic phase transitions and condensation. These strongly coupled plasmas are found throughout nature (e.g. lightning) and have many technological applications (e.g. fusion energy). In this seminar, I will present observations of phase transitions for a diversity of strongly coupled plasmas featuring bubbles that collapse with 1012 g of acceleration, spark discharges that mimic the expansion of nuclear fireballs, 20,000 K micron-sized blackbodies created in 10-13 s, a quantum liquid formed in a single layer of atoms, and a newly discovered plasma crystal that has >1012 eV/particle of Coulomb energy. The presentation will conclude with a live demonstration of plasma crystallization that brings strongly coupled plasma into the palm of your hands.
Alexander Bataller is a research assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University. From 2015-2017, he was a postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina State University in the Department of Physics working with Kenan Gundogdu. From 2014-2015, he was laboratory director of the Putterman research group at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2014, he received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles working with Seth Putterman. In 2007, he received his B.S. in engineering-physics from the University of Arizona. His research is focused on the physics of strongly coupled plasma in a variety of high-density systems. In particular, he is interested in utilizing ultrafast spectroscopy as a characterization tool for measuring plasma properties for dynamic conditions and extreme environments. He was an award recipient of the Julian Schwinger Foundation in 2019 for the proposal “Investigating Contact Electrification via Operando Ultrafast Non-Resonant Spectroscopy” and was selected as a DARPA Rising emerging leader in science and technology in 2015.
Room 1202 Burlington Labs