In our first class meeting this week we met the Plasma scientist again but this time in our classroom. He spoke to us about magnets and magnetic fields. There were times I felt lost because he showed us many complicated scientific math equations. But I did learn more about magnetic fields. For example, the aurora. The sun ejects millions of electrons from its corona (upper atmosphere), creating solar wind. These particles slam into Earth's ozone layer and get trapped in the magnetosphere. The magnetic field around the earth (which we learned a lot about as well).
On Tuesday, we started the class with something a bit unexpected. We all spent some quiet time writing down anything and everything that was in our minds on a sheet of paper. I am personally going through a very big transition in my life, and the past week has just been so chaotic and overwhelming.
Week four started off with a brain dump. Though not directly related to the subjects of the course, the act of releasing all of my thoughts on paper felt very therapeutic and helpful for visualizing information. Once I had written out a lot of things I was thinking about, I was able to draw connections between them and see the way my mind wandered. It was similar to the activity of mapping our class concepts on Thursday!
On Tuesday, Dr. Walter Gekelman gave us an extraordinary lecture on magnetism, from introducing the basic concepts, and the essential equations, to discussing the principle of Aurora and Tokamak. Each of us got a piece of magnet, and we played with the magnets and observed the phenomenon of how the different poles attract each other, while the same poles repel each other. It was fun to play with the small pieces of magnets during class, which made me seem like going back to my primary school physics class. Dr.
This week we began our class with creating a concept/mind map consisting of the topics we had learned and discussed over the preceding weeks.
Week 4: Jan 31, 2023 : Magnetism, Aurora Borealis, & Connections
On Tuesday, Professor Gekelman came into our classroom and did an extensive lecture on magnets and magnetism.
We met with Dr. Walter Gekelman on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, but this time he came to our classroom and gave a lecture about the Earth’s magnetic field. It was an expanded lecture on how his LAPD machine creates magnetic fields. Dr. Gekelman’s experimental LAPD machine creates an axial magnetic field with 90 solenoidal magnet coils. Below is an example from LAPD’s experiment on magnetic field line reconnection, which happens when two magnetic flux ropes collide.