Nav: Home

Professor conducts cosmic ray acceleration research

January 27, 2009

MELBOURNE, FLA.--Ming Zhang, Ph.D., Florida Institute of Technology professor of physics and space sciences, has received a three-year, $434,000 NASA grant to study the outer heliosphere. The heliosphere is a "bubble" in the interstellar medium filled with magnetized plasma primarily emanating from the Sun. It extends from the Sun's upper atmosphere to well beyond the planets.

"Understanding the structure and dynamics of the heliosphere is a fundamental goal of space scientists. It provides an environment for Earth and its magnetosphere in space and through it we can understand how the Sun interacts with the local interstellar medium," said Zhang. He and this team will use cosmic rays to probe the outer heliospheric environment.

Knowledge of the space radiation environment is the key to keeping astronauts safe from hazardous space radiation. This will help predict activity in the near-Earth space radiation environment, a problem related to space weather forecasting.

Working with Zhang at Florida Tech is Hamid Rassoul, Ph.D., professor of physics and space sciences. Also on the team, Gang Qin, Ph.D., of the Chinese Academy of Science, and Nikolai Pogorelov Ph.D., from the University of Alabama in Huntsville will apply their theoretical tools and knowledge in a related investigation.

"The fundamental physics learned from the heliosphere can apply to other stars and the interstellar medium of the galaxy. This makes these studies important to many phenomena in high-energy astrophysics," added Rassoul.

Florida Tech grants bachelor's degrees in physics, pre-professional physics, space sciences, with options in solar, Earth, and planetary, astronomy and astrophysics, and astrobiology, and master's and doctoral degrees in physics or space sciences.

Florida Institute of Technology

Related Astrophysics Articles:

Radio astronomers peer deep into the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula
Astronomers have released an image of a 50-light-year-long filament of star-forming gas, 1200 light-years away, in the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula.
Geology and biology agree on Pangaea supercontinent breakup dates
Scientists at The Australian National University have found that independent estimates from geology and biology agree on the timing of the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent into today's continents.
Top high-energy prize awarded to LSU physicist and LIGO scientist Gabriela González
The 2017 Rossi Prize has been awarded to Gabriela González and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for the first direct detections of gravitational waves, for the discovery of merging black hole binaries and for beginning the new era of gravitational-wave astronomy.
Lars Bildsten wins 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
The American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society announced today, on behalf of the Heineman Foundation for Research, Educational, Charitable, and Scientific Purposes, that California astrophysicist Lars Bildsten is the winner of the 2017 Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, a distinguished honor awarded annually to recognize significant contributions to the field.
Finding inspiration in the stars
Lars Bildsten, director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, wins the 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics.
ANU helps find supercluster of galaxies near Milky Way
The Australian National University is part of an international team of astronomers that found one of the Universe's biggest superclusters of galaxies near the Milky Way.
Newly formed stars shoot out powerful whirlwinds
Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have used the ALMA telescopes to observe the early stages in the formation of a new solar system.
Vanderbilt physicists Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga elected APS Fellows
Two Vanderbilt physicists, Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga, have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.
Breaking up: a convoluted drama at nuclear scale, too
Regardless of the scenario, breaking up is dramatic. Take the case of carbon splitting into three nuclei of helium.
Chaos in cosmos: Stars with three planet-forming discs of gas
A star with a ring of planets orbiting around it - that is the picture we know from our own solar system and from many of the thousands of exoplanets observed in recent years.

Related Astrophysics Reading:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Author)

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
by Bradley W. Carroll (Author), Dale A. Ostlie (Author)

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
by Brian Greene (Author)

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour
by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Author), Michael A. Strauss (Author), J. Richard Gott (Author)

Astrophysics for Physicists
by Arnab Rai Choudhuri (Author)

Astrophysics in a Nutshell: Second Edition
by Dan Maoz (Author)

Brief Answers to the Big Questions
by Stephen Hawking (Author)

Introduction to High-Energy Astrophysics
by Stephan Rosswog (Author)

An Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics
by Francis LeBlanc (Author)

Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military
by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Author), Avis Lang (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Approaching With Kindness
We often forget to say the words "thank you." But can those two words change how you — and those around you — look at the world? This hour, TED speakers on the power of gratitude and appreciation. Guests include author AJ Jacobs, author and former baseball player Mike Robbins, Dr. Laura Trice, Professor of Management Christine Porath, and former Danish politician Özlem Cekic.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, about traumatic insemination in bed bugs.