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Plasma astrophysics

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A field of physics that is growing in interest worldwide that tackles such astrophysical phenomena as the source of violent space weather and the formation of stars.

Stewart Prager

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.

Path-setting theoretical physicist Elena Belova elected an APS Fellow

Elena Belova, a principal research physicist whose work has advanced key areas of fusion research in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been elected a 2020 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). The APS annually recognizes as fellows no more than one-half of one percent of its more than 55,000 worldwide members.

Researchers find unexpected electrical current that could stabilize fusion reactions

Electric current is everywhere, from powering homes to controlling the plasma that fuels fusion reactions to possibly giving rise to vast cosmic magnetic fields. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that electrical currents can form in ways not known before.

Researchers find unexpected electrical current that could stabilize fusion reactions

Electric current is everywhere, from powering homes to controlling the plasma that fuels fusion reactions to possibly giving rise to vast cosmic magnetic fields. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that electrical currents can form in ways not known before.

Will Fox wins 2020 John Dawson Award for producing new insights into astrophysical shockwaves

Exploration of the processes behind supernova shockwaves has won Will Fox, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. The honor, awarded by the American Physical Society (APS), recognizes “a recent outstanding achievement in plasma physics research.” Fox shares this year’s award with 10 physicists in the U.S., Japan, and Britain.

Exciting progress

Will Fox wins 2020 John Dawson Award for producing new insights into astrophysical shockwaves

Exploration of the processes behind supernova shockwaves has won Will Fox, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. The honor, awarded by the American Physical Society (APS), recognizes “a recent outstanding achievement in plasma physics research.” Fox shares this year’s award with 10 physicists in the U.S., Japan, and Britain.

Exciting progress

Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, reports breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year

From fresh insight into the capture and control on Earth of fusion energy that drives the sun and stars, to the launch of pioneering new initiatives, groundbreaking research and discoveries have marked the past year at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The Laboratory has advanced on all fronts and is expanding into new ones, and Quest reports on all the excitement around these activities in the 2020 edition.

Highly productive

Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, reports breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year

From fresh insight into the capture and control on Earth of fusion energy that drives the sun and stars, to the launch of pioneering new initiatives, groundbreaking research and discoveries have marked the past year at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The Laboratory has advanced on all fronts and is expanding into new ones, and Quest reports on all the excitement around these activities in the 2020 edition.

Highly productive

Matthew Kunz, Princeton and PPPL astrophysicist, receives prestigious NSF dual-purpose award

Matthew Kunz, an assistant professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) five-year grant to research magnetic fields throughout the early universe and to establish a summer school on plasma physics aimed at attracting women and underrepresented minorities to the field.

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