The ARC Plasma Speaker

Back when I was an engineering major in college, I bought and assembled this cool little guy, so I thought I’d show it to you all. Here it is playing Heartache from the Undertale soundtrack. (I was going to play vaporwave, but apparently that entire genre causes too much static noise when played through this thing)

The concept behind it is pretty cool. It makes an arc of plasma which vibrates at certain frequencies to make sounds. If you want a more in depth description, just ask me (or google “arc plasma speaker” and find their website).

I am officially banned from the local plasma donation centers

Oh, excuse me… “permanently deferred”. After spending nearly five hours in there on my day off, I was finally told that my being trans made me ineligible to donate. You know, because of the hormones? You know, the hormones that everyone has? The ones that probably aren’t even in plasma because plasma is just a liquid medium with no cells? I’m not a scientist, but that seems like fucking bullshit to me.

So, can I take them to task for this shit? Like, where’s the ACLU when I need them? Or the HRC? Guess they’re too busy patting themselves on the back while eating rainbow wedding cake.


The Alcator C-Mod Tokamak

For 40 years MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) has been exploring nuclear fusion as a source of energy through a series of tokamaks. The C-Mod is the third in a series of Alcator tokamaks developed at MIT since the 1960s. Characterized by a donut-shaped vacuum chamber wrapped in high-field magnets, the Alcator approach makes it possible to produce very dense and well-confined plasmas in a relatively compact device. (The name “Alcator” comes from alto campo torus = high field torus.)  Its metal (molybdenum) walls can accommodate high power densities. Alcator C-Mod has made significant contributions to the world fusion program in the areas of plasma heating, stability, and confinement of high field tokamaks.Alcator C-Mod is the only tokamak in the world operating at and above the ITER design magnetic field and plasma densities, and it produces the highest pressure tokamak plasma in the world, approaching pressures expected in ITER.

Image source & credit: Dave Mosher/Tech Insider 


This mid-level (M1.2) solar flare was accompanied by a magnificent prominence (filament, if observed on the solar disk) eruption that turned into an impressive coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 18, 2015.

During the rising phase of eruptions, prominences often exhibit complex pre-flare disturbances, typically showing short-lived helical structures in the lower corona. 

Watch the video


A heart-shaped protein

It turns out that the most abundant protein molecule in blood plasma – serum albumin (SA) – is shaped very much like a heart.

This protein does an astounding array of tasks in our bodies, such as maintaining normal fluid pressure in our tissues and transporting many different types of molecules in our blood.

The structure of the serum albumin protein is shaped like a heart.Credit: Wladek Minor, University of Virginia
Germany's massive nuclear fusion machine just produced its first hydrogen plasma
This is huge.
By Bec Crew

German scientists have just switched on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) stellarator - the largest nuclear fusion machine of its kind - to successfully produce and sustain hydrogen plasma for the first time.

Why is this such a big deal? The production of hydrogen plasma is key to harnessing the clean, limitless energy of nuclear fusion - the process that powers our Sun. If we can achieve controlled nuclear fusion, it would quite literally change the world, because it would replace fossil fuels and nuclear fission facilities as a cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable source of energy.

“It’s a very clean source of power, the cleanest you could possibly wish for. We’re not doing this for us, but for our children and grandchildren,” one of the team, physicist John Jelonnek from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, told the Associated Press.

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