Tom Morgan, the Foss Professor of Physics, is spending the month of June as a visiting professor at Seikei University in Tokyo, Japan. He is collaborating with Professor Tomoyuki Murakami on modeling the evolution of plasma (an assembly of ions and electrons) created by injecting energy into water, “a substance with many interesting properties and applications,” Morgan explained.
The work focuses on water in both the vapor phase and as a liquid.
Morgan also is collaborating on this experimental work with Professor of Physics Lutz Huwel at Wesleyan. Huwel uses a pulse of laser light to provide the energy input to the water.
“The goal of the research is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the transport and evolution of the energy as time passes,” Morgan explained.
An additional focus is on how the laser light radiation energy that is deposited near the surface of water is dissipated into kinetic energy of ejected ballistic water droplets that have been observed in the lab to rise high above the water.
“There are many potential applications of underwater plasmas to the environmental, biotechnical and medical fields,” Morgan said.
The visit to Seikei University is partially funded by presidential initiative funds supplied by the Director of Global Initiatives. The funds support international faculty collaborations.
Morgan met Murakami several years ago through a common collaborator in Belfast, N. Ireland. The scientists share overlapping research interests and have published one paper together.
“Physics is a very global collaborative discipline,” Morgan said.
Learn more about Morgan’s research online here.