It is well established and appreciated by now that more than 99% of the baryonic matter in the universe is in the plasma state. Most astrophysical systems could be approximated as conducting fluids in a gravitational field. It is the combined effect of these two that gives rise to the mind boggling variety of configurations in the form of filaments, loops, jets and arches. The plasma structures that cannot last for more than a second or less in a laboratory remain intact for astronomical time and spatial scales in an astrophysical setting. The case in point is the well known extragalactic jets whose collimation and stability has remained an enigma inspite of the efforts of many for many long years. The high energy radiation sources such as the active galactic nuclei again summon the coherent plasma radiation processes for their exceptionally large output from regions of relatively small physical sizes. The generation of magnetic field, anomalous transport of angular momentum with decisive bearing on star formation processes, the ubiquitous MHD turbulence under conditions irreproducible in terrestrial laboratories are some of the generic issues still awaiting a concerted effort for their understanding. Quantum Plasmas, pair plasmas and pair-ion plasmas exist under extreme conditions in planetary interiors and exotic stars. In this workshop plasma physicists, astrophysicists and plasma astrophysicists are brought together to discuss these issues.
About the Author:
The Editor, Prof. S.S. Hasan is the Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
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