The Plasma Physics Laboratory is located in the basement of Strong Hall. All of the projects in the lab focus on introducing EMU students to the fundamental measurement techniques in plasma physics.
The atmosphere surrounding Mercury contains particles sputtered off the surface of Mercury by the solar wind plasma. Modelers and other researchers interested in understanding the sputtering process and those concerned with the creation and maintenance of planetary atmospheres need to know not only what particles are liberated from a planetary surface, but also how fast and in what direction the particles are traveling. Characterizing the sputtering of a mineral provides this information.
The Plasma Sputtering Experiment at Eastern Michigan University is a seed project to measure the types of particles sputtered off of rock/mineral samples appropriate to Mercury by a low-energy laboratory plasma. Future experiments will measure the speed and direction of the sputtered particles identified in this seed project.
For more information contact: