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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.

High school interns opt for research over relaxation

Summer is a time that many teenagers prefer to spend relaxing and soaking up the sun at the beach, but 10 high school students at PPPL decided instead to spend their summer soaking up plasma physics knowledge and performing hands-on research. 

The high school interns started on July 1, taking a three-day introductory course in plasma physics, offered as part of the program for the first time. Following the course, the students scattered throughout the Laboratory with each assigned a mentor.

At Plasma Camp, teachers experience research front and center

For one week every summer, a small group of teachers gathers at PPPL to relive student days. At this year’s Plasma Camp, a professional development program for science educators, 10 high school physics teachers lived together in a college dormitory, got lost together as they navigated the circuitous laboratory building, and learned as they created new plasma-based curricula.

From the Netherlands to PPPL: Student reflects on his study of light

Dutch graduate student Jasper van Rens recently completed a three-month assignment at PPPL to study a diagnostic technique that will be crucial to the success of ITER, the huge international fusion facility under construction in France. Working with Fred Levinton and Howard Yuh of PPPL subcontractor Nova Photonics, Van Rens investigated the impact of reflected light on the ITER Motional Stark Effect (MSE) instrument, which  measures the internal magnetic configuration of fusion plasmas.

Fusion through the eyes of a veteran science journalist

Author Daniel Clery recently published “A Piece of the Sun,” a 320-page narrative of the history of fusion research and the personalities who have devoted their careers to it. Clery is a United Kingdom-based reporter for Science magazine who holds a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics from York University and has covered fusion for more than a decade. While hardly an uncritical flag-waver for fusion, he recognizes its vast potential. He discussed his new book and the future of fusion with PPPL Science Writer John Greenwald.

A.J. Stewart Smith, Princeton's first dean for research, becomes vice president for PPPL

A. J. Stewart Smith, the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics, served as Princeton's first dean for research from 2006 to 2013. On July 1 he begins a newly created position as vice president for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

In his tenure as dean, Smith built the Office of the Dean for Research from its inception into a fully functioning department of professionals dedicated to making the University research activities run smoothly.

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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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