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Science AMA Series: I’m Jena Meinecke, an Oxford fellow studying the origins of magnetic fields in the universe. Next week I’m doing an experiment with the world’s largest laser at Lawrence Livermore N
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Hi, Reddit! I’ve literally prepared for years and travelled around the world for an experiment I’m doing next week. And I’m super excited to geek out with you all about it. I’ll be using the world’s largest laser – the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California – to figure out how magnetic fields came into existence in our universe. It’s a question that’s consumed me and driven years of research: I’ve used other high-energy lasers to create scaled galaxy clusters and supernovas that could fit in the palm of your hand. Using these cosmic objects, I’ve generated seed magnetic fields—the “grandparent” fields of our universe and amplified them to current observations. But to be able to understand the origins of magnetic fields, I’ll need to measure one of the most coveted phenomena in laboratory astrophysics: turbulent dynamo. There’s only one laser on Earth that can tell us the origins of magnetic fields in our universe, and that’s the NIF laser. We have three shots to gather our data, and next week we will take our first shot! So that’s what gets me up in the morning. I’m incredibly excited to share our journey with YOU! What would you like to know? AMA!!! Bio: https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/contacts/people/meinecke Publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/J_Meinecke/publications Epic laser: https://lasers.llnl.gov/ I’ll be back at 1 pm EST (10 am PST, 6 pm UTC) to answer your questions, ask me anything! I’m here at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Ignition Facility, THE BIGGEST LASER ON EARTH, is just across the road!!! Your questions are WONDERFUL and I’ll start answering them now. UPDATE: We are wrapping up here and there are many people with pizza sitting close to me. I need to deal with this…. I LOVED your questions and wish I could keep the conversation going. Please feel free to follow my updates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jena_Meinecke. SIX MORE DAYS UNTIL SHOTS!!! I will definitely be tweeting. Look out for updates!