Space plasma physics

Theoretical studies of IAP RAS in the fields of space plasma physics, astrophysics of high energies, theoretical radio astronomy, and physics of near space follow two basic research lines.

The first line corresponds to those aspects of physics of classic (laboratory) plasma, which play the key role in the space conditions, specifically, instabilities and nonlinear phenomena in inhomogeneous and nonstationary plasma, self-consistent dynamics of waves and charged particles in magnetic fields, acceleration and radiation of charged particles, propagation and interaction of plasma waves and electromagnetic waves. They serve as the basis for studies of the coherent and noncoherent radiation mechanisms, nonequilibrium processes of the interaction between waves and particles, formation of large-scale current structures and turbulent regions in the plasma of various astrophysical objects. These works are closely intertwined with the fundamental research conducted at IAP in the fields of electronics and electrodynamics of laboratory plasma. For example, space cyclotron masers have much in common with their laboratory analogs, i.e., optical quantum generators and electronic devices based on the cyclotron resonance and interaction of counterpropagating waves.

The second research line deals with astrophysical plasma under extreme conditions. Superstrong magnetic and gravitational fields, relativistic hydrodynamic motions, high-power hard radiation, interaction of various plasma components change plasma properties significantly near compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and active galactic nuclei). In superstrong magnetic fields, the motion of electrons acquires the quantized character, and the vacuum becomes magnetized. At relativistic velocities, transmutation of particles is significant, and radiation exercises a decisive influence on the micro- and macroscopic dynamics of the particles. With these facts accounted for, the character of simulation of astrophysical objects becomes complex, and the interrelation of radiation parameters in different spectrum regions, from the RF to the gamma range.