A key issue for the development of fusion energy to generate electricity is the ability to confine the superhot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions in magnetic devices called tokamaks. This gas is subject to instabilities that cause it to leak from the magnetic fields and halt fusion reactions.
Fusion reactor design
The design of devices that use powerful magnetic fields to control plasma so fusion can take place. The most widely used magnetic confinement device is the tokamak, followed by the stellarator.
Lyman Spitzer, Jr. made major contributions in several fields of astrophysics, plasma physics, and fusion energy. He invented the novel stellarator concept for confining plasmas for fusion, and was an early proponent of putting telescopes in space. This talk will briefly review some of Spitzer's pioneering contributions in fusion, including a pictorial history from his founding of PPPL to TFTR's achievement of 10 megawatts of fusion power. Prof. Kulsrud will provide some personal stories about his early days of working with Spitzer.
A multinational team led by Chinese researchers in collaboration with U.S. and European partners has successfully demonstrated a novel technique for suppressing instabilities that can cut short the life of controlled fusion reactions. The team, headed by researchers at the Institute of Plasma Physics in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), combined the new technique with a method that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed for protecting the walls that surround the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions.
Recent DIII-D research has provided significant new information for the physics basis of key scientific issues for successful operation of ITER and future steady state fusion tokamaks, including control of edge localized modes (ELMs), plasma instabilities, disruptions, plasma exhaust fluxes and the development of operational scenarios. This talk will summarize progress and outline plans for future research, including opportunities for involvement in the 2014 research program.
Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer Jr. (1914-1997) was among the 20th Century’s most visionary scientists. His major influences range from founding the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and its quest for fusion energy, to inspiring the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and its images of the far corners of the universe.
Leading experts from around the world gathered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in July to focus on a key issue for the development of fusion energy: Improving ways to predict and mitigate disruptions that can destroy magnetically confined plasmas that are needed for fusion reactions.
Rich Hawryluk served as Deputy Director-General for the ITER Organization and Director of the ITER Administration Department. ITER is an international fusion experiment that is under construction in France. Hawryluk, a former deputy director of PPPL, completed a two-year assignment at ITER in April, 2013.