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

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.

Physicist Rajesh Maingi heads nationwide liquid metal strategy program for fusion devices

Rajesh Maingi, a world-renowned expert on the physics of plasma, has been named to co-lead a national program to unify research on liquid metal components for future tokamaks, doughnut-shaped fusion facilities. Maingi, who heads research on boundary physics and plasma-facing components at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), will coordinate the three-year project in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Graduate student plasma physicist Alexander Glasser wins Princeton University Fellowship

Graduate student Alexander Glasser, who arrived at the Program in Plasma Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) after nearly a decade working on Wall Street, has won a highly competitive Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship from Princeton University. The fellowship provides full tuition and a stipend for the 2019-2020 academic year for students “displaying the highest scholarly excellence in graduate work.”

Discovered: A new way to measure the stability of next-generation magnetic fusion devices

Scientists seeking to bring to Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars must control the hot, charged plasma — the state of matter composed of free-floating electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions — that fuels fusion reactions. For scientists who confine the plasma in magnetic fields, a key task calls for mapping the shape of the fields, a process known as measuring the equilibrium, or stability, of the plasma. At the U.S.

Tiny granules can help bring clean and abundant fusion power to Earth

Beryllium, a hard, silvery metal long used in X-ray machines and spacecraft, is finding a new role in the quest to bring the power that drives the sun and stars to Earth. Beryllium is one of the two main materials used for the wall in ITER, a multinational fusion facility under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power. Now, physicists from the U.S.

Advances in plasma and fusion science over the past year are described in Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine

From helping the nation’s power grid to advancing the creation of “a star in a jar” for a virtually endless supply of electric power, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed insights and discoveries over the past year that advance understanding of the universe and the prospect for safe, clean, and abundant energy.

PPPL and Oak Ridge manage new DOE program designed to speed development of fusion energy with private-public partnerships

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched an ambitious new program to encourage private-pubic partnerships to speed the development on Earth of the fusion energy that powers the sun and most stars. The DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home of the US ITER Project Office, will manage the program, with PPPL physicist Ahmed Diallo serving as deputy director and Oak Ridge fusion engineer Dennis Youchison serving as director. 

Tracking major sources of energy loss in compact fusion facilities

A key obstacle to controlling on Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars is leakage of energy and particles from plasma, the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that fuels fusion reactions. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), physicists have been focusing on validating computer simulations that forecast energy losses caused by turbulent transport during fusion experiments.

Four scientists at PPPL awarded national and international honors

Institutions ranging from NASA to the Korean Physical Society have recently bestowed national and international honors on four scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The awards recognize a veteran and three early career physicists for their path-setting achievements in fusion and plasma science research. The honorees and their notable contributions:

Rajesh Maingi named Fellow of the American Nuclear Society

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