Gargantuan Interstellar Shocks -Scientists Recreate Cosmic Phenomena

collisionless shock wave


From MIT to China, physicists are engaged in breathtaking efforts to recreate astrophysical phenomena. Vast interstellar events where clouds of charged matter hurtle into each other and spew out high-energy particles have so far been difficult to reproduce under laboratory conditions that mirror those in an astrophysical setting have now been reproduced at MIT with high fidelity. The work, by MIT researchers and an international team of colleagues, should help resolve longstanding disputes over exactly what takes place in these gigantic shocks.