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Contact: Saralyn Stewart
American Physical Society

Shear Alfvén Wave

Caption: This is a representation of the three-dimensional magnetic field (due to four currents threading the center of each helix) of a shear Alfvén wave. It was acquired at an instant of time throughout the volume of a large (60 cm diameter ,18m long) plasma in the LAPD device at UCLA. The currents and the field topology change in fractions of a millionth of a second. The sparkles are proportional to the electric field in the plasma induced by the wave.

Credit: Walter Gekelman, UCLA

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Related news release: The many faces of the shear Alfvén wave

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