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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Researchers Explain Magnetic Field Misbehavior in Solar Flares: The Culprit is Turbulence

When a solar flare filled with charged particles erupts from the sun, its magnetic fields sometime break a widely accepted rule of physics. The flux-freezing theorem dictates that the magnetic lines of force should flow away in lock-step with the particles, whole and unbroken. Instead, the lines sometimes break apart and quickly reconnect in a way that has mystified astrophysicists. But in a paper published in the May 23 issue of the journal Nature, an interdisciplinary research team led by a Johns Hopkins mathematical physicist says it has found a key to the mystery.

NSF $1.2 Million Grant to Fund Massive Data “Pipeline” at Johns Hopkins

Financed by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant, one of the world’s fastest and most advanced scientific computer networks—one capable of transferring in and out of The Johns Hopkins University per day the amount of data equivalent to 80 million file cabinets filled with text—will be built on the university’s Homewood campus, with support from the University of Maryland, College Park.

JHU Expert Finds Randomness in Turbulent Flows

It seems perfectly natural to expect that two motorists who depart from the same location and follow the same directions will end up at the same destination. But according to a Johns Hopkins University mathematical physicist, this is not true when the “directions” are provided by a turbulent fluid flow, such as you find in a churning river or stream. Verifying earlier theoretical predictions, Gregory Eyink’s computer experiments reveal that, in principle, two identical small beads dropped into the same turbulent flow at precisely the same starting location will end up in different – and entirely random – destinations. An article about the phenomenon appears in a recent issue of Physical Review E.

‘Green’ Power Alert: New Study Yields Better Turbine Spacing for Large Wind Farms

Large wind farms are being built around the world as a cleaner way to generate electricity, but operators are still searching for the most efficient way to arrange the massive turbines that turn moving air into power. To help steer wind farm owners in the right direction, Charles Meneveau, a Johns Hopkins fluid mechanics and turbulence expert, working with a colleague in Belgium, has devised a new formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained.

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