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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.

PPPL scientists take key step toward solving a major astrophysical mystery

Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, transforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics. Magnetic field lines represent the strength and direction of magnetic fields.

PPPL scientists take key step toward solving a major astrophysical mystery

Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, transforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics. Magnetic field lines represent the strength and direction of magnetic fields.

Neilson visits German stellarator to pave way for U.S. researchers

Hutch Neilson, PPPL’s head of Advanced Projects, is saying “auf wiedersehen” to the Lab for the next nine months as he travels to Greifswald, Germany, where he will be paving the way for future U.S. researchers to participate on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) program as the experiment begins preparing for operations next year.

David Gates, a principal research physicist and the stellarator physics leader at PPPL, will be serving as Interim Head of Advanced Projects in Neilson’s absence.

PPPL lends General Electric a hand in developing an advanced power switch

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are assisting General Electric Co. in developing an electrical switch that could help lower utility bills. The advanced switch “could contribute to a smarter, more advanced, more reliable, and more secure electric grid,” according to the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which is funding the GE project.

PPPL lends General Electric a hand in developing an advanced power switch

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are assisting General Electric Co. in developing an electrical switch that could help lower utility bills. The advanced switch “could contribute to a smarter, more advanced, more reliable, and more secure electric grid,” according to the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which is funding the GE project.

“Rip” Perkins, pioneering PPPL physicist and a design leader for ITER, dies at 80

Francis “Rip” William Perkins Jr., a pioneering plasma physicist whose contributions to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) ranged from seminal advances in fusion energy and astrophysical research to the education of a generation of scientists, died on July 26 in Boulder, Colo. He was 80 and had long battled Parkinson’s disease.

“Rip” Perkins, pioneering PPPL physicist and a design leader for ITER, dies at 80

Francis “Rip” William Perkins Jr., a pioneering plasma physicist whose contributions to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) ranged from seminal advances in fusion energy and astrophysical research to the education of a generation of scientists, died on July 26 in Boulder, Colo. He was 80 and had long battled Parkinson’s disease.

Experts assemble at PPPL to discuss mitigation of tokamak disruptions

Some 35 physicists from around the world gathered at PPPL last week for the second annual Laboratory-led workshop on improving ways to predict and mitigate disruptions in tokamaks. Avoiding or mitigating such disruptions, which occur when heat or electric current are suddenly reduced during fusion experiments, will be crucial for ITER the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

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