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New model of plasma stability could help researchers predict and avoid disruptions in fusion machines

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have helped develop a new computer model of plasma stability in doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks. The new model incorporates recent findings gathered from related research efforts and simplifies the physics involved so computers can process the program more quickly. The model could help scientists predict when a plasma might become unstable and then avoid the underlying conditions.

Atiba Brereton

Atiba Brereton is a diagnostic engineer who contributes to the design, fabrication, and installation of various types of diagnostic equipment on PPPL’s National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). He has worked on several diagnostics such as SPRED (Survey, Poor Resolution, Extended Domain), a spectrometer that will be used to measure impurities in the divertor of the tokamak; and FIReTIP (Far InfraRed Tangential Interferometer/Polarimeter), which will be used to monitor plasma density.


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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