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NSTX-U

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The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), which is undergoing a $94 million upgrade that will make it the most powerful experimental fusion facility, or tokamak, of its type in the world when work is completed in 2015. Experiments will test the ability of the upgraded spherical facility to maintain a high-performance plasma under conditions of extreme heat and power. Results could strongly influence the design of future fusion reactors.

New model of plasma stability could help researchers predict and avoid disruptions in fusion machines

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have helped develop a new computer model of plasma stability in doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks. The new model incorporates recent findings gathered from related research efforts and simplifies the physics involved so computers can process the program more quickly. The model could help scientists predict when a plasma might become unstable and then avoid the underlying conditions.

New feedback system could allow greater control over fusion plasma

Like a potter shaping clay as it spins on a wheel, physicists use magnetic fields and powerful particle beams to control and shape the plasma as it twists and turns through a fusion device. Now a physicist has created a new system that will let scientists control the energy and rotation of plasma in real time in a doughnut-shaped machine known as a tokamak.

New feedback system could allow greater control over fusion plasma

Like a potter shaping clay as it spins on a wheel, physicists use magnetic fields and powerful particle beams to control and shape the plasma as it twists and turns through a fusion device. Now a physicist has created a new system that will let scientists control the energy and rotation of plasma in real time in a doughnut-shaped machine known as a tokamak.

New engineering head Valeria Riccardo has two decades of experience on fusion experiments

Valeria Riccardo, new head of engineering at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, is a United Kingdom transplant who comes to the position with more than 20 years of experience in project management, fusion design, and analysis on two fusion devices in the U.K. that are similar to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U).  

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has published a paper showing that magnetic reconnection — the process in which magnetic field lines snap together and release energy — can be triggered by motion in nearby magnetic fields. By running computer simulations, Ebrahimi gathered evidence indicating that the wiggling of atomic particles and magnetic fields within electrically charged gas known as plasma can spark the onset of reconnection, a process that, when it occurs on the sun, can spew plasma into space.

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has published a paper showing that magnetic reconnection — the process in which magnetic field lines snap together and release energy — can be triggered by motion in nearby magnetic fields. By running computer simulations, Ebrahimi gathered evidence indicating that the wiggling of atomic particles and magnetic fields within electrically charged gas known as plasma can spark the onset of reconnection, a process that, when it occurs on the sun, can spew plasma into space. 

Top 10 PPPL stories that you shouldn’t miss

The past year saw many firsts in experimental and theoretical research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the Laboratory’s top findings in 2016, from the first results on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade to a new use for Einstein’s theory of special relativity to modeling the disk that feeds the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

1. First results of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U)

COLLOQUIUM: Motivations for Spherical Torus research and initial results from NSTX Upgrade

The Spherical Torus/Tokamak (ST) is being explored as a possible means of accelerating the development of magnetic fusion energy.  The ST offers access to a higher ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic field pressure and extends toroidal confinement physics understanding including support for ITER burning plasma physics.  The ST may also provide an attractive configuration for fusion applications including plasma-material-interface solution development, fusion nuclear component testing, and a net-electricity producing Pilot Plant.  The NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) facility at PPPL supports all of t

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