Researchers at a recent worldwide conference on fusion power have confirmed the surprising accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion that a top scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed. The model could serve as a starting point for overcoming the barrier.
A nuclear fusion reactor in which a magnetic field keeps charged, hot plasma moving in a doughnut-shaped vacuum container.
Bruce Koel is professor of chemical and biological engi- neering at Princeton University. He is associated faculty in Chemistry, the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and a collaborator on the National Spherical Torus Experiment - Upgrade at PPPL. Koel is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society.
David Gates is a principal research physicist for the advanced projects division of PPPL, and the stellarator physics leader at the Laboratory. In the latter capacity he leads collaborative efforts with the Wendelstein 7-X and Large Helical Device stellarator projects in Germany and Japan, respectively.
Michael Zarnstorff has been deputy director of research at PPPL since 2009 and a physicist at PPPL since 1984. As deputy director, he oversees physics experiments at PPPL and collaborations on fusion experiments around the world. Zarnstorff graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in physics in 1984.
Stefan Gerhardt is head of Experimental Research Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment- Upgrade (NSTX-U). He operates numerous diagnostics on NSTX-U, along with designing plasma control schemes and running physics experiments. He has previously worked on a wide variety of fusion machines, including spherical tokamaks, stellarators, and field reversed configurations.
Francesca Poli’s expertise is in simulating the evolution of tokamak plasma discharges. She uses waves and neutral beams to modify the plasma current profile and to optimize the plasma performance. She applies her expertise to interpret existing experiments, to predict and design new experiments, and to predict plasma performance in ITER, the international demonstration fusion reactor being built in the south of France.
Jonathan Menard is program director for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) and is responsible for guiding the scientific research program of NSTX-U working with an international research team. His research interests include the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability properties of spherical torus (ST) and tokamak plasmas, advanced operating scenarios in the ST, and the development of next- step ST options for fusion energy.
Masaaki Yamada is a Distinguished Laboratory Research Fellow and the Head of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) research program. He is also a co- principal investigator of the Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, a Physics Frontier Center established by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Richard Hawryluk, the interim director of PPPL, is an internationally-known physicist and a former deputy director of PPPL. He served as the head of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) Recovery Planning Project from 2016 through August of 2017.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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