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PPPL physicist receives ExxonMobil grant for plasma research

Physicist Egemen Kolemen, who holds positions at Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is sharing a grant from ExxonMobil to research whether plasma could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil wells. Plasma is partially ionized gas that has separated into electrons and atomic nuclei, and can be found on Earth as lightning, neon lights, and many other forms. Stars and 99 percent of the visible universe are made of plasma.

PPPL recognized for its green programs

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has received two national awards for its green purchasing program, adding to the long list of honors the Laboratory’s environmental program has received over the past several years.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gave PPPL a silver Green Buy Award in April for its green purchasing program, while the Green Electronics Council gave PPPL a three-star EPEAT Purchaser Award for the Laboratory’s efforts to purchase environmentally sustainable electronics.

Energy Secretary Moniz Launches the Nation’s Newest Fusion Experiment at PPPL

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz dedicated the most powerful spherical torus fusion facility in the world on Friday, May 20, 2016. The $94-million upgrade to the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U), funded by the DOE Office of Science, is a spherical tokamak fusion device that explores the creation of high-performance plasmas at 100-million degree temperatures many times hotter than the core of the sun.

COLLOQUIUM: Extending the Ice Core Record of Atmospheric Composition and the Global Carbon and Oxygen Cycles Beyond 1 Million Years

Ice cores serve as a critical archive of past environmental conditions, providing constraints on global atmospheric composition and the climate of polar regions. Reconstructions of atmospheric COand CH4 from air trapped in ice cores dating as far back as 800 ka indicate a link between greenhouse gases and global climate in the form of 100 kyr glacial cycles. These climate cycles are recorded in proxy records from deep-sea sediments reflecting variations in ocean temperature and continental ice volume.

COLLOQUIUM: Living with Climate Change: The Road from Paris

The twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris ended with an agreement that some call “the world’s greatest diplomatic success” while others insist it is “too weak” and full of “false hope.” Paris has created a pathway for success, but the Agreement itself cannot ensure it. The twentieth century showed it was no longer acceptable for governments to use claims of sovereignty to defend human rights abuses, and the twenty-first century may show the same to be true for greenhouse gas emissions.

DOE’s Ed Synakowski traces key discoveries in the quest for fusion energy

The path to creating sustainable fusion energy as a clean, abundant and affordable source of electric energy has been filled with “aha moments” that have led to a point in history when the international fusion experiment, ITER, is poised to produce more fusion energy than it uses when it is completed in 15 to 20 years, said Ed Synakowski, associate director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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