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Magnetic reconnection

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Magnetic reconnection (henceforth called "reconnection") refers to the breaking and reconnecting of oppositely directed magnetic field lines in a plasma. In the process, magnetic field energy is converted to plasma kinetic and thermal energy.

PPPL and Princeton researchers propose an explanation for the mysterious onset of a universal process

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University have proposed a groundbreaking solution to a mystery that has puzzled physicists for decades. At issue is how magnetic reconnection, a universal process that sets off solar flares, northern lights and cosmic gamma-ray bursts, occurs so much faster than theory says should be possible.

PPPL and Princeton researchers propose an explanation for the mysterious onset of a universal process

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University have proposed a groundbreaking solution to a mystery that has puzzled physicists for decades. At issue is how magnetic reconnection, a universal process that sets off solar flares, northern lights and cosmic gamma-ray bursts, occurs so much faster than theory says should be possible.

COLLOQUIUM: Solving magnetic reconnection, one plasmoid at a time

Magnetic reconnection is a central problem of plasma physics, key to a wide range of phenomena, from astrophysics (flares, jets, dynamo) to the laboratory (e.g., the sawtooth and tearing instabilities in magnetic fusion).

Throughout the last decade, the prolific combination of experiments, analytical theory and state-of-the-art simulations has delivered a radical overhaul of our understanding of reconnection. This talk aims to overview some of this recent progress, discuss its implications and reflect on future directions for the field.

PPPL scientists present key results at the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics

More than 100 scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Laboratory (PPPL) joined nearly 2,000 others from around the world in San Jose, California, to discuss the latest findings in plasma science and fusion research. PPPL physicists contributed to papers, talks and presentations ranging from astrophysical plasmas to magnetic fusion energy during the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics.

PPPL scientists present key results at the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics

More than 100 scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Laboratory (PPPL) joined nearly 2,000 others from around the world in San Jose, California, to discuss the latest findings in plasma science and fusion research. PPPL physicists contributed to papers, talks and presentations ranging from astrophysical plasmas to magnetic fusion energy during the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics.

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi conducts computer simulations that indicate the efficiency of an innovative fusion start-up technique

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University has for the first time performed computer simulations indicating the efficiency of a start-up technique for doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks. The simulations show that the technique, known as coaxial helicity injection (CHI), could also benefit tokamaks that use superconducting magnets. The research was published in March 2016, in Nuclear Fusion, and was supported by the DOE's Office of Science. 

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi conducts computer simulations that indicate the efficiency of an innovative fusion start-up technique

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University has for the first time performed computer simulations indicating the efficiency of a start-up technique for doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks. The simulations show that the technique, known as coaxial helicity injection (CHI), could also benefit tokamaks that use superconducting magnets. The research was published in March 2016, in Nuclear Fusion, and was supported by the DOE's Office of Science. 

PPPL team wins 80 million processor hours on nation's fastest supercomputer

The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of 80 million processor hours on the fastest supercomputer in the nation to an astrophysical project based at the DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The grants will enable researchers led by Amitava Bhattacharjee, head of the Theory Department at PPPL, and physicist Will Fox to study the dynamics of magnetic fields in the high-energy density plasmas that lasers create. Such plasmas can closely approximate those that occur in some astrophysical objects.

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