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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.

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.

Cool Science on a Hot Day as 3,000 Flock to PPPL’s June 1 Open House

More than 3,000 people flocked to PPPL’s Open House on June 1 where they were treated to rare glimpses of every corner of the Laboratory – from the machine shop water jets to tours of the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U).  

About 175 PPPL staff members, including some family members, volunteered their time on a hot, sunny Saturday for the event, whether it was handing out snacks and water bottles, giving passersby directions or staffing the “Ask the Physicist,” and “Ask the Engineer” booth in the D Site parking lot.

PPPL honors physicists Steven Sabbagh and Gregory Hammett

PPPL presented its 2013 outstanding research awards to physicists Steven Sabbagh and Gregory Hammett following Director Stewart Prager’s May 28 State-of-the-Laboratory Address. Sabbagh received the Kaul Foundation Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research and Technology Development for his work on advancing the understanding, and enhancing the stability, of high-performance plasmas in fusion facilities called tokamaks. Hammett was named winner of the Distinguished Research Fellow Award for his work on deepening the theoretical understanding of turbulence in fusion plasmas.

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

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