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The Institute for Plasma Physics (INFIP)

The goal of plasma science is to understand and apply the properties of the so called fourth state of matter, which corresponds to matter heated to high temperatures (above ten thousand degrees Celsius) and becoming thus an ionized gas. Over 99% of the visible matter in the Universe is in a state of plasma.

The Institute for Plasma Physics (Instituto de Física del Plasma, INFIP) is an institution in Argentina where research on Plasma Physics is carried out. A wide spectrum of subjects is covered, from magneto-hydrodynamics and electro-hydrodynamics of plasmas in several space and laboratory configurations, plasma technological applications, and plasma numerical simulations.

Researchers at INFIP have a broad knowledge and many years of experience in Plasma Physics, with over 600 published contributions in the research area. They also have working experience in other national and international universities and research centers, and have lectured many graduate and post-graduate courses. A large number of Argentine physicists working in plasma physics have been part of research projects or taken courses offered by INFIP.

Starting from a research group formed in 1968, the Plasma Physics Laboratory was established in 1970 in the Science Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires (Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires). In 1983, through an agreement between the Science Faculty and the Argentine National Research Council (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CONICET), a Program of Research in Plasma Physics (Programa de Investigaciones en Física del Plasma, PRIFIP) was created to support the activities of the Plasma Physics Laboratory. With contributions from professors and researchers of the University of Buenos Aires and CONICET this scientific activity grew up and PRIFIP became known internationally. Due to the acknowledged importance for the development of Plasma Physics in Argentina, the Program was upgraded in January 1991 to a Research Center of CONICET under the name of Institute for Plasma Physics (INFIP). INFIP is (and has been) also actively supported by the Science Faculty of the Buenos Aires University.

Research Areas

Electrical Discharge Laboratory

Vacuum Arcs: DC and pulsed vacuum arc experiments. Magnetic filters. Plasma diagnostics: Electrostatic probes, charge collectors, emission spectroscopy, calorimetric techniques. Theoretical modeling. Coating development. Triboelectrical and microstructural properties. Plasma thrusters.

Non-thermal plasmas at atmospheric pressure: Corona and DBD discharges. Plasma diagnostics: emission spectroscopy, plasma light emission with temporal resolution, electrical diagnostics. Theoretical modeling.

Thermal plasmas at atmospheric pressure: Transferred and non-transferred dc arcs. Cutting torches. Plasma diagnostics: Sweeping electrostatic probes, plasma light emission with temporal resolution, emission spectroscopy. Theoretical modeling. Plasma sheaths structure.

Low Pressure Glow Discharges: RF discharge. Coating production. Plasma diagnostics: Electrostatic probes, charge collectors, emission spectroscopy. Theoretical modeling.

Plasma Focus Laboratory

Plasma Focus devices: Physics of transient, supersonic plasma sheaths. Ultra-dense transient plasmas. Electrical modeling. Plasma diagnostics: elect6rical diagnostics, magnetic probes, soft and hard X-ray detection, fusion neutron detection.

Applications of ultra-dense transient plasmas: Transient radiographies. Neutron tomography.

Optical Doppler Effect

Development of plasma diagnostic techniques based on optical Doppler effect.

Theoretical and Computational Research in Plasma and Fluid Dynamics

Magnetosphere plasmas: Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. Magneto-pause. Interpretation of satellite plasma measurements.

Stellar and planetary dynamos: Large scale models.

Fluid dynamics of flapping wings: Theory and numerical simulations of flow generated by flapping motions. Determination of forces on flapping wings from optical velocimetry data.

ISSN 1853-5836