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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 launches a $4.3 million project to expand research on magnetic reconnection

PPPL is developing a new and more powerful version of its world-leading Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), which recreates one of the most common but least understood phenomena in the universe. This phenomenon, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, occurs throughout the cosmos and gives rise to the northern lights, solar flares and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell-phone service and black out power grids.

Princeton and PPPL launch center to study volatile space weather and violent solar storms

Researchers at Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have launched a new center to study the volatile heliosphere — a complex and frequently violent region of space that encompasses the solar system. This region is carved out by the solar wind — charged plasma particles that constantly stream from the sun — and gives rise to space weather that can disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and knock out power grids.

Worldwide conference on plasma science coming to Princeton area

More than 350 participants from around the world will gather in Plainsboro, N.J., on September 30 for the 66th Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC). The week-long event will bring together physicists from numerous plasma science disciplines for workshops, panels and poster sessions on topics ranging from basic research to uses for plasma in microchip etching, nano- material manufacturing and other technologies.

Premiere issue of "Quest" magazine details PPPL's strides toward fusion energy and advances in plasma science

Welcome to the premiere issue of Quest, the annual magazine of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). We are pleased to provide this news of our strides in advancing research into fusion energy and plasma science—two topics of vital interest to the United States and the world.

PPPL Open House

Mark your calendar and prepare to have some fun at The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab's Open House on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the Laboratory will open its doors for the public to see the National Spherical Torus Experiment and other research experiments. Come take a self-guided tour, take part in hands-on activities, watch demonstrations. Plans also include a moon rocks display from NASA, lectures on fusion by PPPL Director Stewart Prager, a cryogenics show, firefighting demonstrations and numerous other activities as well as refreshments and give-aways.

COLLOQUIUM: Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection: Recent Discoveries on MRX

Magnetic reconnection is a phenomenon of nature in which magnetic field lines change their topology in plasma and convert magnetic energy to particles by acceleration and heating. It is one of the most fundamental processes at work in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. Magnetic reconnection occurs everywhere: in solar flares; coronal mass ejections; the earth’s magnetosphere; in the star forming galaxies; and in plasma fusion devices.

PPPL physicists win supercomputing time to simulate key energy and astrophysical phenomena

Three teams led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have won major blocks of time on two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Two of the projects seek to advance the development of nuclear fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy by improving understanding of the superhot, electrically charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions.

"Coordinated Solar Energetic Events", Professor Alan M. Title, Lockheed Martin Advance Technology Center/Stanford University

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamic Observatory with obtains  full disk images that span the temperature range from 6000 to 20,000,000K with  arcsecond resolution and a 12 second cadence. Because of the enhanced thermal and temporal coverage and the high dynamic range available with AIA, it has been able to discovery collective behavior associated with energeti solar events that are driven by the expansion of magnetic structures.

Masaaki Yamada

Masaaki Yamada is a Distinguished Laboratory Research Fellow and the Head of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) research program. He is also a co- principal investigator of the Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, a Physics Frontier Center established by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

U.S.-Japan Workshop on Magnetic Reconnection draws participants from seven countries to Princeton University

More than 70 researchers from around the world gathered at Princeton University May 23-25 for the 2012 U.S.-Japan Workshop on Magnetic Reconnection. PPPL physicist Hantao Ji chaired the international workshop, which was the twelfth since 1998 and the third to be held at Princeton. The event featured more than 55 papers, including two presented by Ji and Masaaki Yamada, who directs PPPL’s Magnetic Reconnection Experiment.


U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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