Session H11: Plasma Physics

8:30 AM–10:18 AM, Sunday, April 17, 2005
Marriott Tampa Waterside Room: Room 7

Sponsoring Units: DPP DAP
Chair: Melissa Douglas, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Abstract ID: BAPS.2005.APR.H11.4

Abstract: H11.00004 : Plasma Generated Spherules

9:06 AM–9:18 AM

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  C.J. Ransom
  Wal Thornhill
    (Vemasat Research Institute)

Z-pinch plasma simulations have been performed that indicate the production of spherules under certain experimental parameters. (A. L. Peratt, private communication) While performing experiments dealing with the impact of plasma discharges on various materials, we observed that spherules were created at the surface of some of the materials. For specific materials and conditions, spherules were always produced. Both individual spherules and joined spherules were created. The size and shapes were nearly identical to items found by the Mars rover, \textit{Opportunity}, and called ``blueberries.'' Sky {\&} Telescope, June 2004, p. 20, among other sources indicated the blueberries were gray spherules composed of hematite. The experiments produced hematite spherules identical in appearance to those found on Mars. These experiments suggest how the newly discovered blueberries were formed on Mars while providing an explanation that does not depend on the presence of water.

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