High Energy Plasma and Astrophysics

With new challenging problems plasma-astrophysics is re-emerging in the overlapping fields of plasma research and astrophysics. It has attracted a broad interest recently after the observation of gamma ray bursts and cosmic radiation with energies up to Exa-electron volts. It has become clear that a satisfactory explanation of these phenomena can only be obtained using new methods and approaches of plasma science involving the interaction of charged particles and of photons with the cosmic background radiation. On the astronomic scale formation of structures are observed, similar to those in hot fusion plasmas. The physics of protuberances and of solar flares is governed by magnetic reconnection. Its nature and the associated plasma heating are still unresolved questions.