An Extravaganza of Lasers and Plasma (Pt. 2)

Please read Pt. 1 (Posted July 10, 2015)

Recently Dr. Tim Good, Gordon McCann, and I (Avery German) took a trip to West Virginia University to visit Dr. Earl Scime and work in his Plasma lab. This provided us with more knowledge to better our own LIF techniques, as well as gain some hands on experience in working in a large lab with other plasma researchers.


This is CHEWIE (Compact HElicon for Waves and Instabilities Experiment), one of the smaller plasma devices at WVU currently being used for LIF measurements. This device was used by one of our own Gettysburg College graduates and former plasma researcher in Dr. Good’s lab, Matthew Galante 08′, for his PhD thesis! The black tube contains collection optics for the LIF measurements which are then transported via fiber to the spectrometer for analysis. See the purple glow? That’s argon plasma!


This is the Large Experiment on Instabilities and Anisotropy (LEIA), a very large plasma chamber, large enough for researchers to go entirely inside the chamber to make modifications! Attached to the near side of the chamber is the Hot hELIcon eXperiment (HELIX) plasma source.

LEIA from another angle

LEIA  and HELIX from another angle. The entire apparatus is used to simulate space plasmas.

Hi Gordon!

Hi Gordon! These coils around the chamber carry electric current to induce a magnetic field in the plasma.


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