"Magnetohydrodynamics and the Thermonuclear Problem" - Hannes Alfvén


" When I describe the [plasma phenomena] according to this formulism most referees do not understand what I say and turn down my papers. "

H. Alfvén describing the complexity of MHD, for which he later received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1970.




Hannes Alfvén

Hannes Alfvén was during the time of the Conference, part of the Swedish delegation. He was working in the fields of astrophysics and plasma physics. At the time of the conference he acquired the title 'Chair of Plasma Physics' at the University of Maryland. His contribution to the Conference, "Magnetohydrodynamics and the Thermonuclear Problem" was giving an insight into the field of MHD and Plasma physics. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics for MHD in 1970.



" [...] The main difficulty is to heat a gas to a very high temperature and to keep this gas confined during a sufficiently long time. The field of physics which we must study in order to be able to do so is magnetohydrodynamics and the physics of hot ionized gases, which is usually referred to as plasma physics. Magnetohydrodynamics is a combination of electromagnetism and hydrodynamics, and this means that we are facing the difficulties of electromagnetism multiplied by the difficulties of hydrodynamics. But the thermonuclear problem furthermore requires a combination of magnetohydrodynamics with plasma physics, which means that we have to multiply once again by the difficulties of plasma physics. Hence we are entering an extremely complicated, but also extremely rich and fruitful field, which is well worth our investigations even from the purely scientific point of view. [...] "


View his paper: "Magnetohydrodynamics and the Thermonuclear Problem"

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