Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Kasper’s research in Nautilus

Posted: July 31, 2014

Professor Kasper’s research in Nautilus

Associate Professor Justin Kasper’s work with NASA’s Solar Probe Plus was recently featured online in Nautilus, a scientific newsletter.

The article, written by Justin Nobel, states that the Solar Probe Plus’ most important instrument is its Faraday cup, which sits outside the probe’s 4.5-inch-thick carbon foam heat shield.

“The tough little cup is made of highly heat-resistant metals—molybdenum, titanium, and zirconium. Two sheets of niobium, an even more heat-resistant metal, will cover the cup’s opening, which will dip into the wind. Each sheet will have a small hole for particles to fly into. Once inside, the particles will pass through a series of tungsten grids, which are primed to specific voltages and act as filters,” the article states.

“By measuring the current as a function of voltage I can separately see the protons and the alphas, since they require different voltages to stop them,” Kasper told Nautilus. “With the current as a function of voltage I get the basic properties of the wind: density, velocity, and temperature.”

To read the full article, please visit Nautilus.

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