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Plasma physics

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The study of plasma, a partially-ionized gas that is electrically conductive and able to be confined within a magnetic field, and how it releases energy.

Stewart Prager

Stewart Prager is the sixth director of PPPL. He joined the Laboratory in 2009 after a long career at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At Wisconsin, he led research on the “Madison Symmetric Torus” (MST) experiment and headed a center that studied plasmas in both the laboratory and the cosmos. He also co-discovered the “bootstrap current” there—a key finding that has influenced the design of today’s tokamaks. He earned his PhD in plasma physics from Columbia University.

PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics

Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars — collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky.  Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun.

PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics

Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars — collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky.  Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun.

PPPL and Princeton join high-performance software project

Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are participating in the accelerated development of a modern high-performance computing code, or software package. Supporting this development is the Intel Parallel Computing Center (IPCC) Program, which provides funding to universities and laboratories to improve high-performance software capabilities for a wide range of disciplines.

PPPL and Princeton join high-performance software project

Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are participating in the accelerated development of a modern high-performance computing code, or software package. Supporting this development is the Intel Parallel Computing Center (IPCC) Program, which provides funding to universities and laboratories to improve high-performance software capabilities for a wide range of disciplines.

PPPL launches expanded new laboratory for research on the use of plasma to synthesize nanoparticles

Plasma – the hot ionized gas that fuels fusion reactions – can also create super-small particles used in everything from pharmaceuticals to tennis racquets. These nanoparticles, which measure billionths of a meter in size, can revolutionize fields from electronics to energy supply, but scientists must first determine how best to produce them.

PPPL launches expanded new laboratory for research on the use of plasma to synthesize nanoparticles

Plasma – the hot ionized gas that fuels fusion reactions – can also create super-small particles used in everything from pharmaceuticals to tennis racquets. These nanoparticles, which measure billionths of a meter in size, can revolutionize fields from electronics to energy supply, but scientists must first determine how best to produce them.

Physicists Steven Sabbagh and Jack Berkery receive 2016 Landau-Spitzer Award

Steven Sabbagh and Jack Berkery, Columbia University physicists on assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), have received the 2016 Landau-Spitzer Award for outstanding contributions to plasma physics. Also sharing in the award are Holger Reimerdes of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and Yueqiang Liu of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom. The award is named for Russian physicist Lev Landau, a 1962 Nobel laureate, and Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, founder of PPPL.

Physicists Steven Sabbagh and Jack Berkery receive Landau-Spitzer Award

Steven Sabbagh and Jack Berkery, Columbia University physicists on assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), have received the 2016 Landau-Spitzer Award for outstanding contributions to plasma physics. Also sharing in the award are Holger Reimerdes of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and Yueqiang Liu of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom. The award is named for Russian physicist Lev Landau, a 1962 Nobel laureate, and Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, founder of PPPL.

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