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Fusion energy

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The energy released when two atomic nuclei fuse together. This process powers the sun and stars.  Read more

Stewart Prager

Stewart Prager was the sixth director of PPPL. He joined the Laboratory in 2009 after a long career at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At Wisconsin, he led research on the “Madison Symmetric Torus” (MST) experiment and headed a center that studied plasmas in both the laboratory and the cosmos. He also co-discovered the “bootstrap current” there—a key finding that has influenced the design of today’s tokamaks. He earned his PhD in plasma physics from Columbia University.

Renowned energy expert Emily Carter returns to Princeton to advise PPPL on sustainability science

Emily A. Carter, former dean of the Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and most recently executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been named Senior Strategic Advisor for Sustainability Science at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Steve Cowley, PPPL director, has announced.

Three PPPL scientists win competitive awards to conduct frontier plasma science research

World-class expertise in the study of plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — has won frontier science projects for three physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

The Lab in the living room: Summer interns delve into plasma and fusion research from their homes

Summer interns working for PPPL did hands-on research from their computers in their bedrooms or on their dining room tables all over the U.S. They worked closely with PPPL physicists and engineers on research aimed at understanding ionized gases called plasmas and helping to develop fusion energy as the energy of the future.

PPPL physicist helps confirm a major advance in stellarator performance for fusion energy

Stellarators, twisty magnetic devices that aim to harness on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars, have long played second fiddle to more widely used doughnut-shaped facilities known as tokamaks. The complex twisted stellarator magnets have been difficult to design and have previously allowed greater leakage of the superhigh heat from fusion reactions. 

PPPL physicist helps confirm a major advance in stellarator performance for fusion energy

Stellarators, twisty magnetic devices that aim to harness on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars, have long played second fiddle to more widely used doughnut-shaped facilities known as tokamaks. The complex twisted stellarator magnets have been difficult to design and have previously allowed greater leakage of the superhigh heat from fusion reactions. 

Updated state-of-the-art computer code could advance efforts to harness fusion energy on Earth

Think of light bulb filaments that glow when you flip a switch. That glow also occurs in magnetic fusion facilities known as tokamaks that are designed to harness the energy that powers the sun and stars. Understanding how resistivity, the process that produces the glow, affects these devices could help scientists design them to operate more efficiently.

Cross-pollinating physicists use novel technique to improve the design of facilities that aim to harvest fusion energy

Physicists are like bees — they can cross-pollinate, taking ideas from one area and using them to develop breakthroughs in other areas. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have transferred a technique from one realm of plasma physics to another to enable the more efficient design of powerful magnets for doughnut-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks.

PPPL-hosted workshop displays substantial progress in battling fusion disruptions

Steady progress is advancing in plans for combatting damaging disruptions in experiments that aim to bring to Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.  That was the key finding of the recent online Theory and Simulation of Disruptions workshop hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which drew more than 100 registrants from around the world to the July 19-23 gathering.

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