Gas at temperatures exceeding one million degrees is common in the Universe. Indeed it is likely that most of the gas in the Universe exists in intergalactic space in this form. Such highly-ionized gas, or plasma, is not restricted to the rarefied densities of intergalactic space, but is also found in clusters of galaxies, in galaxies themselves, in the expanding remnants of exploded stars and at higher densities in stars and the collapsed remains of stars up to the highest densities known, which occur in neutron stars. The abundant lower-Z elements, at least, in such gas are completely ionized and the gas acts as a highly conducting plasma. It is therefore subject to many cooperative phenomena, which are often complicated and ill-understood. Many of these processes are, however, well-studied (if not so well-understood) in laboratory plasmas and in the near environment of the Earth. Astronomers therefore have much to learn from plasma physicists working on laboratory and space plasmas and the parameter range studied by the plasma physicists might in turn be broadened by contact with astronomers. With that in mind, a NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Physical Processes in Hot Cosmic Plasmas was organized and took place in the Eolian Hotel, Vulcano, Italy on May 29 to June 2 1989. This book contains the Proceedings of that Workshop.
Table of ContentsSupernova Remnants as Probes of the Interstellar Medium.- X-Ray Observations of Supernova Remnants.- Spectral Analysis of a Tokamak Plasma in the VUV-Range.- Ionization of Hot Plasmas.- Particle Acceleration Near Astrophysical Shocks.- Numerical Simulations of Collisionless Shocks.- Numerical Simulations of Vlasov Equilibria.- Classical Transport Properties of Plasmas.- Progress in LTE and Non-LTE Radiative Transport Properties.- Transport Processes in Hot Dense Plasmas: General Results and the Evolution of Pulsar Magnetic Fields.- Mathematical Problems in Dynamo Theory.- Generation of Cosmic Magnetic Fields.- The Origin of Galactic Magnetic Fields.- Recent Developments in the Theory of Magnetic Reconnection.- Conduction and Turbulence in Intracluster Gas.- A Hot Intergalactic Medium.- The Evolution of Non-Spherical Thermal Instabilities in Cooling Flows.- The Mass Spectrum Of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays.- Plerionic Supernova Remnants.- Energy Loss Mechanisms for Fast Particles.- An Introduction to Relativistic Plasmas in Astrophysics.- X-Rays and Gamma-Rays at Cosmological Distances.- Synchrotron Self-Absorption as a Thermalizing Mechanism.- Reacceleration and Pair Loading in Compact Sources.- Quantum Effects in Magnetized Electron-Positron Plasmas: Synchrotron Pair Cascades and Gamma-Ray Burst Spectra.- Gamma-Rays From Accretion Processes and Relativistic Beams.- Subject and Object Index.