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Magnetic fields decoded in the laboratory

On April 24, 2012

through the collaborative research of international physicists

A collaboration of physicists has just successfully reproduced in the laboratory, with a laser-generated shockwave, one of the mechanisms from which stem the magnetic fields of protogalaxies.

Although it has been well established that magnetic fields are present on a large scale across the universe, their surprisingly elevated intensities, and especially their origins, remain one of the most intriguing mysteries of modern astrophysics.

Using the LULI2000 laser facilities of the LULI laboratory (a joint research unit affiliated with CNRS - CEA - UPMC - École Polytechnique), an international collaboration has just reproduced at the laboratory scale one of the proposed mechanisms for the creation of these fields: the "Biermann battery" process.

Download the full article (French language only) [PDF - 274 Ko]