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

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has published a paper showing that magnetic reconnection — the process in which magnetic field lines snap together and release energy — can be triggered by motion in nearby magnetic fields. By running computer simulations, Ebrahimi gathered evidence indicating that the wiggling of atomic particles and magnetic fields within electrically charged gas known as plasma can spark the onset of reconnection, a process that, when it occurs on the sun, can spew plasma into space. 

Top 10 PPPL stories that you shouldn’t miss

The past year saw many firsts in experimental and theoretical research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the Laboratory’s top findings in 2016, from the first results on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade to a new use for Einstein’s theory of special relativity to modeling the disk that feeds the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

1. First results of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U)

Valeria Riccardo

Valeria Riccardo is PPPL’s head of engineering, the largest department at PPPL. She worked for more than 20 years at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, England, which operates the Joint European Torus (JET) and the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) facility, a sister facility to PPPL. As chief engineer at the Culham Center for ve years, she was responsible for ensuring that the consequences of any design, installation and operation decision were understood.

PPPL’s Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series kicks off Jan. 14 with a banquet of cutting-edge science

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will once again offer a wide variety of cutting-edge science talks as it kicks off its popular Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series for high school students and science lovers of all ages on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the Laboratory, 100 Stellarator Road, Princeton, New Jersey.

PPPL’s Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series kicks off Jan. 14 with a banquet of cutting-edge science

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will once again offer a wide variety of cutting-edge science talks as it kicks off its popular Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series for high school students and science lovers of all ages on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the Laboratory, 100 Stellarator Road, Princeton, New Jersey.

Magnetic reconnection research sheds light on explosive phenomena in astrophysics and fusion experiments

Scientists are closer than ever to unraveling a process called magnetic reconnection that triggers explosive phenomena throughout the universe.  Solar flares, northern lights and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell phone service and black out power grids are all set off by magnetic field lines that converge, break apart and violently reconnect in ways that are not fully understood.

Magnetic reconnection research sheds light on explosive phenomena in astrophysics and fusion experiments

Scientists are closer than ever to unraveling a process called magnetic reconnection that triggers explosive phenomena throughout the universe.  Solar flares, northern lights and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell phone service and black out power grids are all set off by magnetic field lines that converge, break apart and violently reconnect in ways that are not fully understood.

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