Ian Ochs, a graduate student in the Program in Plasma Physics, has won a Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, the most prestigious of the honorific fellowships that the University awards annually for academic excellence. The award goes to only one student in each of the four graduate school divisions — humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, and engineering.
A key issue for scientists seeking to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth is forecasting the performance of the volatile plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Making such predictions calls for considerable costly time on the world’s fastest supercomputers. Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have borrowed a technique from applied mathematics to accelerate the process.
Carefully manipulating the outer skin of plasma can create cascades of effects that help create the stability needed to sustain fusion reactions, scientists have found. The research, led by physicist Dylan Brennan of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), could provide insight into the physics required to stabilize plasma in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks. These include ITER, the multinational facility being built in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power.
Scientists seeking to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth must deal with sawtooth instabilities — up-and-down swings in the central pressure and temperature of the plasma that fuels fusion reactions, similar to the serrated blades of a saw. If these swings are large enough, they can lead to the sudden collapse of the entire discharge of the plasma. Such swings were first observed in 1974 and have so far eluded a widely accepted theory that explains experimental observations.
Consistent with observations
Creating and controlling on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars is a key goal of scientists around the world. Production of this safe, clean and limitless energy could generate electricity for all humanity, and the possibility is growing closer to reality. Now a landmark report released this week by the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Community Planning Process proposes immediate steps for the United States to take to accelerate U.S.
Simple model proves remarkably effective
Novel idea for simplifying stellarator design.
An improved method for sustaining high heat.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create an innovative technique to improve the prediction of disruptions in fusion energy devices — a grand challenge in the effort to capture on Earth the fusion reactions that power the sun and stars.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
© 2021 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.