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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

PPPL physicists aim to unlock mysteries of fusion with Early Career Research awards

Physicists Dr. Nate Ferraro and Dr. Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have each won 2018 Early Career Research Program awards sponsored by the DOE Office of Science. The two five-year awards will fund PPPL research that could lead to development of the best designs for doughnut-shaped tokamaks and twisty stellarators — the main magnetic-bottles employed worldwide in the effort to produce virtually inexhaustible fusion power on Earth using the reactions that drive the sun and stars.

New model sheds light on key physics of magnetic islands that halt fusion reactions

Magnetic islands, bubble-like structures that form in fusion plasmas, can grow and disrupt the plasmas and damage the doughnut-shaped tokamak facilities that house fusion reactions. Recent research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has used large-scale computer simulations to produce a new model that could be key to understanding how the islands interact with the surrounding plasma as they grow and lead to disruptions.

PPPL physicists to create new X-ray diagnostics for the WEST fusion device in France

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has won a DOE Office of Science award to develop new X-ray diagnostics for WEST — the Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak — in Cadarache, France. The three-year, $1-million award will support construction of two new devices at PPPL, plus collaboration with French scientists and deployment of a post-doctoral researcher to test the installed devices at CAE Laboratories, the home of the WEST facility.

PPPL physicists to create new X-ray diagnostics for the WEST fusion device in France

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has won a DOE Office of Science award to develop new X-ray diagnostics for WEST — the Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak — in Cadarache, France. The three-year, $1-million award will support construction of two new devices at PPPL, plus collaboration with French scientists and deployment of a post-doctoral researcher to test the installed devices at CAE Laboratories, the home of the WEST facility. 

New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER

Scientists seeking to bring fusion — the power that drives the sun and stars — down to Earth must first make the state of matter called plasma superhot enough to sustain fusion reactions. That calls for heating the plasma to many times the temperature of the core of the sun. In ITER, the international fusion facility being built in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power, the device will heat both the free electrons and the atomic nuclei — or ions — that make up the plasma.

New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER

Scientists seeking to bring fusion — the power that drives the sun and stars — down to Earth must first make the state of matter called plasma superhot enough to sustain fusion reactions. That calls for heating the plasma to many times the temperature of the core of the sun. In ITER, the international fusion facility being built in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power, the device will heat both the free electrons and the atomic nuclei — or ions — that make up the plasma.

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