Nagoya University, Japan
Most of the observable matter in the Universe is in the plasma state and there must be a wide range of research topics in plasma astrophysics. Nonetheless plasma astrophysics had remained as relatively a small and less focused branch of astronomy. Only recently a variety of research opportunities in plasma astrophysics are opening up, as will be introduced in this talk. Let me start with a brief review of on-going efforts to build facilities for experimental plasma astrophysics in the United States and finish with phase diagrams for magnetic reconnection in astrophysical systems. In the main part I will discuss specific fundamental issues such as (i) efficiency of magnetic reconnection, (ii) onset of instability, (iii) cross-scale coupling and (iv) particle acceleration, as far as time permits. For each topic, selective results of laboratory experiments will be shown first and then followed by those of solar observations where complex magnetic structure is visible in detail. This presentation is based on workshops on plasma astrophysics held in Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and solar research carried out in New Jersey Institute of Technology.