The area of electromagnetic fields and matter is concerned with the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our faculty focus on commercial and military applications such as:
- active circuits
- antennas for communications and radar
- theoretical and numerical techniques for analysis of high-frequency circuits
- antennas and artificial electromagnetic materials
Active research projects in electromagnetic fields and matter cover plasma discharges and probing near-Earth space with HAARP.
Here are our current faculty projects in electromagnetic fields and matter.
Probing Near-Earth Space with HAARP
The ionospheric research facility of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, is a unique platform for studying the near Earth-space environment. Using high power HF waves (2-9 MHz), the HAARP facility can change the electron temperature in the lower ionosphere. HAARP can be used to generate extremely low frequency (ELF: 300 Hz - 3 kHz) waves in the ionosphere. These low frequency waves can be used to study fundamental processes in the Earth-space environment including the effects of the solar flares and space weather 'substorms'.
Plasma, the so-called ‘fourth state of matter’ where energies of electrons are sufficient to overcome attraction and attachment to the nuclei of atoms, yields remarkable physical phenomena readily observed in nature and exploitable in technology. In non-thermal plasmas that are generated at atmospheric pressure and room temperature the majority of the electrical energy input goes into the production of energetic electrons, rather than into the heating of gas and ions. Therefore, from the chemical point of view, destruction reaction rates normally associated with temperatures of 10,000 to 100,000 K can be realized while the gas remains near ambient temperature. Non-thermal plasma technologies are currently under investigation for their ability to sterilize a variety of surfaces sensitive to heat and chemicals.