Positively and negatively charged particles with equal mass can form a pair plasma. For instance, this can occur in extreme astrophysical environments that generate electron-positron pairs at sufficient density for collective effects to occur. The mass symmetry distinguishes pair plasma from the more familiar ion-electron plasma, and many conventional instabilities are expected to be suppressed. The APEX collaboration aims to verify this by creating a low-energy positron-electron plasma in the lab. The experiments will require an unprecedentedly large collection of low-energy positrons. I will present the current status of the APEX project, including the development of a buffer-gas trap for the high-intensity NEPOMUC positron beam and the results of preparatory work regarding the injection of positrons into a nonneutral electron plasma. In addition, I will review the latest progress in the design, construction, and diagnostic development of a levitated dipole trap and a compact optimized stellarator (EPOS). These two devices will be used to magnetically confine an electron-positron plasma, allowing this novel substance to be studied - for the first time - at low energy and over long timescales.
Seminar room of the Stefan Meyer Institute
3rd floor, Kegelgasse 27, 1030 Vienna, AUSTRIA
Stefan Meyer Institute