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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

Students in Graduate Summer School focus on plasma physics

Lightning has struck twice, and in the same place. For one week in August for the second consecutive year, a cohort of graduate physics students came to Princeton for the annual Graduate Summer School (GSS) in Plasma Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). During the week of Aug. 12, 31 students learned about low-temperature plasma, computational methods, turbulence, and plasma diagnostics in courses that were also live-streamed over the internet.

New technique could streamline design of intricate fusion device

Stellarators, twisty machines that house fusion reactions, rely on complex magnetic coils that are challenging to design and build. Now, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed a mathematical technique to help simplify the design of the coils, making stellarators a potentially more cost-effective facility for producing fusion energy.

New technique could streamline design of intricate fusion device

Stellarators, twisty machines that house fusion reactions, rely on complex magnetic coils that are challenging to design and build. Now, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed a mathematical technique to help simplify the design of the coils, making stellarators a potentially more cost-effective facility for producing fusion energy.

PPPL physicist Stoltzfus-Dueck will explore the performance of fusion plasma with an Early Career Research Award

Timothy Stoltzfus-Dueck, a theoretical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has won a DOE Early Career Research Award for exceptional scientists in the early stages of their careers. Stoltzfus-Dueck will use the five-year, approximately $500,000 per year award to develop and test models essential to the confinement of plasma, the hot, charged gas that must be tightly confined in doughnut-shaped devices to produce fusion reactions.

PPPL physicist Stoltzfus-Dueck will explore the performance of fusion plasma with an Early Career Research Award

Timothy Stoltzfus-Dueck, a theoretical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has won a DOE Early Career Research Award for exceptional scientists in the early stages of their careers. Stoltzfus-Dueck will use the five-year, approximately $500,000 per year award to develop and test models essential to the confinement of plasma, the hot, charged gas that must be tightly confined in doughnut-shaped devices to produce fusion reactions.

Improving the magnetic bottle that controls fusion power on Earth

Scientists who use magnetic fields to bottle up and control on Earth the fusion reactions that power the sun and stars must correct any errors in the shape of the fields that contain the reactions. Such errors produce deviations from the symmetrical form of the fields in doughnut-like tokamak fusion facilities that can have a damaging impact on the stability and confinement of the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels the reactions.

Seeing more clearly: Revised computer code accurately models an instability in fusion plasmas

Subatomic particles zip around ring-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks and sometimes merge, releasing large amounts of energy. But these particles — a soup of charged electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, collectively known as plasma — can sometimes leak out of the magnetic fields that confine them inside tokamaks. The leakage cools the plasma, reducing the efficiency of the fusion reactions and damaging the machine. Now, physicists have confirmed that an updated computer code could help to predict and ultimately prevent such leaks from happening.

Seeing more clearly: Revised computer code accurately models an instability in fusion plasmas

Subatomic particles zip around ring-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks and sometimes merge, releasing large amounts of energy. But these particles — a soup of charged electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, collectively known as plasma — can sometimes leak out of the magnetic fields that confine them inside tokamaks. The leakage cools the plasma, reducing the efficiency of the fusion reactions and damaging the machine. Now, physicists have confirmed that an updated computer code could help to predict and ultimately prevent such leaks from happening.

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