It's Not What You Think It Is

Visual rendering of first principle numerical simulation, 2011

The origin of high-energy particles in astrophysics is still a mystery. Annihilation of magnetic field lines of opposite orientation, a process known as "magnetic reconnection," may convert the magnetic energy into particle energy. In this process, the magnetic field will end up being confined within magnetic islands (represented as red blobs in this image), with high-energy particles meandering among the islands (represented as yellow tracks in this image). Although this image has nothing to do with biology, it carries astonishing visual similarity with the very first burst of energy in human life.

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