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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.

Discovering a previously unknown mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space

Among the most feared events in space physics are solar eruptions, massive explosions that hurl millions of tons of plasma gas and radiation into space. These outbursts can be deadly: if the first moon-landing mission had encountered one, the intense radiation could have been fatal to the astronauts. And when eruptions reach the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth, the contact can create geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and knock out power grids.

Discovering a previously unknown mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space

Among the most feared events in space physics are solar eruptions, massive explosions that hurl millions of tons of plasma gas and radiation into space. These outbursts can be deadly: if the first moon-landing mission had encountered one, the intense radiation could have been fatal to the astronauts. And when eruptions reach the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth, the contact can create geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and knock out power grids.

PPPL physicists win Torkil Jensen Award to conduct key experiments on DIII-D

Physicists Luis Delgado-Aparicio and Egemen Kolemen of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have won a national scientific competition to conduct a full day of experiments on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility that General Atomics operates in San Diego for the DOE. The honor, known as the Torkil Jensen Award, is named after the late and internationally recognized scientist who was a member of the General Atomics Fusion Group for 44 years.

PPPL physicists win Torkil Jensen Award to conduct key experiments on DIII-D

Physicists Luis Delgado-Aparicio and Egemen Kolemen of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have won a national scientific competition to conduct a full day of experiments on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility that General Atomics operates in San Diego for the DOE. The honor, known as the Torkil Jensen Award, is named after the late and internationally recognized scientist who was a member of the General Atomics Fusion Group for 44 years.

COLLOQUIUM: Frontiers in Plasma Science: A High Energy Density Perspective

The potential for ground-breaking research in plasma physics in high energy density (HED) regimes is compelling. The combination of HED facilities around the world spanning microjoules to megajoules, with time scales ranging from femtoseconds to microseconds enables new regimes of plasma science to be experimentally probed. The ability to shock and ramp compress samples and simultaneously probe them allows dense, strongly coupled, Fermi degenerate plasmas relevant to planetary interiors to be studied.

Bernard named communications director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Larry Bernard, a proven developer of strategic communications programs, has been named director of communications for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), effective December 14. PPPL is the nation’s leading center for the exploration of plasma science and magnetic fusion energy.

A collaboration bears fruit as W7-X celebrates first research plasma

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and other national laboratories joined colleagues from around the world at the celebration for the first plasma of the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany. The Dec. 10 event heralded the start of the largest and most advanced fusion experiment of its kind in the world and could yield promising solutions to some of the most difficult challenges in developing fusion energy.

Schweickhard “Schwick” von Goeler, inventor of groundbreaking diagnostics used to analyze fusion experiments worldwide, dies at 84

Schweickhard “Schwick” von Goeler, an award-winning physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) for more than 35 years and the inventor of numerous X-ray diagnostics used in fusion experiments worldwide, died of leukemia on Dec. 6 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was 84.

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