Stewart Prager was the sixth director of PPPL. He joined the Laboratory in 2009 after a long career at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At Wisconsin, he led research on the “Madison Symmetric Torus” (MST) experiment and headed a center that studied plasmas in both the laboratory and the cosmos. He also co-discovered the “bootstrap current” there—a key finding that has influenced the design of today’s tokamaks. He earned his PhD in plasma physics from Columbia University.
The process of mapping a path to a commercial fusion reactor by planning a sequence of future machines.
Steven Cowley, a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy, became the seventh Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on July 1 and will be Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences on September 1.
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.
Fusion is the energy source of the sun and stars.
Magnetic fusion energy and the plasma physics that underlies it are the topics of ambitious new books by Hutch Neilson, head of the Advanced Projects Department at PPPL, and Amitava Bhattacharjee, head of the Theory Department at the Laboratory. The books describe where research on magnetic fusion energy comes from and where it is going, and provide a basic understanding of the physics of plasma, the fourth state of matter that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe.
The path to creating sustainable fusion energy as a clean, abundant and affordable source of electric energy has been filled with “aha moments” that have led to a point in history when the international fusion experiment, ITER, is poised to produce more fusion energy than it uses when it is completed in 15 to 20 years, said Ed Synakowski, associate director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
This talk will summarize recent progress on DIII-D with a focus on explaining the overall direction of work and relevance to the fusion energy path. This will cover topics such as preparation of operating scenarios for ITER and fusion energy, understanding transport optimization and rotation physics projection for burning plasmas, the role of impurities, ELM mitigation, and the interactions of energetic particles and 3D fields in fusion plasmas. Results will be presented in a context of overall program goals.
Investigating long-term solutions to the world's energy needs and investing in sustainable technologies are crucial as the climate crisis comes into focus, a set of experts cautioned at Princeton University on Nov. 14.
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