A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

Plasma astrophysics

Subscribe to RSS - Plasma astrophysics

A field of physics that is growing in interest worldwide that tackles such astrophysical phenomena as the source of violent space weather and the formation of stars.


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.

COLLOQUIUM: Adaptive Optics Imaging of Extosolar Planets

More than a thousand extrasolar planets are now known, but most have been detected indirectly through Doppler shifts or photometric detection of eclipses. A handful have been directly imaged, using adaptive optics and diffraction control to suppress the light from the bright central star and reveal a planet 10^5 times fainter. 
I will give an overview of directly detected planets and spectroscopic studies, which have revealed H2O, CO, and CH4 in exoplanet atmospheres.

PPPL data may play role in first NASA space probe dedicated to magnetic reconnection


At 10:44 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, NASA launched the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS), a set of four spacecraft that will study the magnetic fields surrounding Earth. Sent into space aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, the craft mark the first NASA mission dedicated to investigating magnetic reconnection, a mysterious phenomenon that gives rise to the northern lights, solar flares and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell phone service, black out power grids and damage orbiting satellites.

PPPL, Princeton launch hunt for Big Bang particles offering clues to the origin of the universe

Billions upon billions of neutrinos speed harmlessly through everyone’s body every moment of the day, according to cosmologists. The bulk of these subatomic particles are believed to come straight from the Big Bang, rather than from the sun or other sources. Experimental confirmation of this belief could yield seminal insights into the early universe and the physics of neutrinos. But how do you interrogate something so elusive that it could zip through a barrier of iron a light-year thick as if it were empty space?

PPPL researchers present cutting edge results at APS Plasma Physics Conference

Some 135 researchers, graduate students, and staff members from PPPL joined 1,500 research scientists from around the world at the 56th annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Conference from Oct. 27 to Oct. 31 in New Orleans. Topics in the sessions ranged from waves in plasma to the physics of ITER, the international physics experiment in Cadarache, France; to women in plasma physics. Dozens of PPPL scientists presented the results of their cutting-edge research into magnetic fusion and plasma science.

COLLOQUIUM: Worlds Seen for the First Time - Ceres and Pluto

This year, planetary spacecraft will visit two significant bodies in the solar system. These bodies are the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto. Ceres was first discovered in 1801 and thought to be a planet. It was only realized 50 years later that Ceres was a member of a huge number of objects in what we now know as the asteroid belt. The Dawn spacecraft was just captured into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. After spending more than a year at another asteroid called Vesta and spending 2.5 years finally getting to Ceres.


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

Website suggestions and feedback

Google+ · Pinterest · Instagram · Flipboard

PPPL is ISO-14001 certified

Princeton University Institutional Compliance Program

Privacy Policy

© 2016 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.

Princeton University
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
P.O. Box 451
Princeton, NJ 08543-0451
GPS: 100 Stellarator Road
Princeton, NJ, 08540
(609) 243-2000