A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

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PPPL Overview

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a collaborative national center for plasma and fusion science. Its primary mission is to develop the scientific understanding and the key innovations which will lead to an attractive fusion energy source.

Scientist’s Quest For Artificial Muscle Aided by PPPL

PPPL collaborator Lenore Rasmussen, the sole proprietor of her Princeton-based, startup firm, Ras Labs, LLC, has the gift of serendipity. Two disparate life experiences sparked the polymer chemist’s interest in the development of electro-responsive “smart materials” — electrically-driven polymers that are strong and durable enough to act as artificial muscles in prosthetic devices and robotics.

Miniature Integrated Nuclear Detection System (MINDS)

Anti-terrorism efforts are getting a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). A team led by PPPL engineer Charles Gentile has developed a Miniature Integrated Nuclear Detection System, called MINDS, which can be used to scan moving vehicles, luggage, cargo vessels, and the like for specific nuclear signatures associated with materials employed in radiological weapons.

Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX)

The PPPL Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) was built to study a fundamental plasma process in a controlled laboratory environment. A plasma is a hot, ionized gas that can be confined using a magnetic field. Plasmas are often considered to be the fourth state of matter after solids, liquids, and gases, and account for more than 99 percent of the visible universe.

Fusion Power

For centuries, the way in which the sun and stars produce their energy remained a mystery to man. During the twentieth century, scientists discovered that they produce their energy through the fusion of light atoms.

E=mc2, Albert Einstein's familiar formula, provided the basis for understanding fusion. Einstein's theory that mass can be converted into energy was further explored by other physicists who discovered two practical methods for achieving this conversion.

Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX)

The Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX) produced its first plasma in September, 2008. The new device will continue the promising, innovative work started on CDX-U in 2000, involving the use of pure lithium metal on surfaces facing or contacting the plasma. PPPL researchers believe that LTX may herald a new regime of plasma performance with improved stability, lower impurity levels, better particle and temperature control, and more efficient operation.

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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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Princeton University
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
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