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Fusion energy

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The energy released when two atomic nuclei fuse together. This process powers the sun and stars.  Read more

A.J. Stewart Smith to step down as Princeton University vice president for PPPL in 2016

As a young man, A.J. Stewart “Stew” Smith won the Canadian National Lacrosse Championship as a member of a powerful Vancouver, British Columbia, club team. That early success and love of teamwork foreshadowed an illustrious career in which Smith has played leading roles as an educator, administrator and particle physicist. Now, after nearly 50 years on the faculty and staff of Princeton University, Smith is stepping down next February from his current post as the University’s initial vice president for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

Scientists propose an enhanced new model of the source of a mysterious barrier to fusion known as the “density limit”

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a detailed model of the source of a puzzling limitation on fusion reactions. The findings, published in June in Physics of Plasmas, complete and confirm previous PPPL research and could lead to steps to overcome the barrier if the model proves consistent with experimental data. “We used to have correlation,” said physicist David Gates, first author of the paper. “Now we believe we have causation.” This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Scientists propose an enhanced new model of the source of a mysterious barrier to fusion known as the “density limit”

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a detailed model of the source of a puzzling limitation on fusion reactions. The findings, published in June in Physics of Plasmas, complete and confirm previous PPPL research and could lead to steps to overcome the barrier if the model proves consistent with experimental data. “We used to have correlation,” said physicist David Gates, first author of the paper. “Now we believe we have causation.” This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science.

X marks the spot: Researchers confirm novel method for controlling plasma rotation to improve fusion performance

Rotation is key to the performance of salad spinners, toy tops, and centrifuges, but recent research suggests a way to harness rotation for the future of mankind's energy supply. In papers published in Physics of Plasmas in May and Physical Review Letters this month, Timothy Stoltzfus-Dueck, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), demonstrated a novel method that scientists can use to manipulate the intrinsic – or self-generated – rotation of hot, charged plasma gas within fusion facilities called tokamaks.

X marks the spot: Researchers confirm novel method for controlling plasma rotation to improve fusion performance

Rotation is key to the performance of salad spinners, toy tops, and centrifuges, but recent research suggests a way to harness rotation for the future of mankind's energy supply. In papers published in Physics of Plasmas in May and Physical Review Letters this month, Timothy Stoltzfus-Dueck, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), demonstrated a novel method that scientists can use to manipulate the intrinsic – or self-generated – rotation of hot, charged plasma gas within fusion facilities called tokamaks.

Delgado-Aparicio urges middle school students to pursue careers in science and join the quest for fusion energy

Physicist Luis Delgado-Aparicio told middle school students attending a conference of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) at Princeton University to follow their dreams and to pursue careers in science even if the path is difficult.

COLLOQUIUM: EXTERNAL PROPULSION AND THE FUTURE OF SPACE ACCESS

At Escape Dynamics we are working on the next generation propulsion technologies with the goal of developing electromagnetically-powered engines operating at 10x the efficiency of chemical rockets. In this talk I will describe results of Escape Dynamics’ R&D efforts and outline our vision for the future of aerospace transportation. The primary focus of the talk will be on the technical aspects of external propulsion in which all or a part of the energy required for launch is coming from a ground-based array of microwave antennas configured to beam microwave energy to the vehicle.

Giant structures called plasmoids could simplify the design of future tokamaks

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have for the first time simulated the formation of structures called "plasmoids" during Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), a process that could simplify the design of fusion facilities known as tokamaks. The findings, reported in the journal Physical Review Letters, involve the formation of plasmoids in the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions.

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