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Ten not-to-be-missed PPPL stories from 2019 — plus a triple bonus!

Arms control robots, a new national facility, and accelerating the drive to bring the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars to Earth. These far-reaching achievements at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) made 2019 another remarkable year. Research at the only national laboratory devoted to fusion and plasma physics — the state of matter that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — broke new ground in varied fields as vast as astrophysics and as tiny as nanotechnology.

Powder, not gas: A safer, more effective way to create a star on Earth

A major issue with operating ring-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks is keeping the plasma that fuels fusion reactions free of impurities that could reduce the efficiency of the reactions. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that sprinkling a type of powder into the plasma could aid in harnessing the ultra-hot gas within a tokamak facility to produce heat to create electricity without producing greenhouse gases or long-term radioactive waste.

Powder, not gas: A safer, more effective way to create a star on Earth

A major issue with operating ring-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks is keeping the plasma that fuels fusion reactions free of impurities that could reduce the efficiency of the reactions. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that sprinkling a type of powder into the plasma could aid in harnessing the ultra-hot gas within a tokamak facility to produce heat to create electricity without producing greenhouse gases or long-term radioactive waste.

Promise Adebayo-Ige: Pursuing a lifelong interest in fusion energy

When friends asked Promise Adebayo-Ige what he was doing over the summer, he told them he was trying to save the world by working at a national laboratory devoted to developing fusion energy.

Adebayo-Ige has been fascinated with the idea of fusion as an inexhaustible, inexpensive, and clean source of generating electric energy since he was a teenager. Now a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, he plans to attend graduate school in nuclear engineering with the goal of working on the quest for fusion energy 

Promise Adebayo-Ige: Pursuing a lifelong interest in fusion energy

When friends asked Promise Adebayo-Ige what he was doing over the summer, he told them he was trying to save the world by working at a national laboratory devoted to developing fusion energy.

Adebayo-Ige has been fascinated with the idea of fusion as an inexhaustible, inexpensive, and clean source of generating electric energy since he was a teenager. Now a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, he plans to attend graduate school in nuclear engineering with the goal of working on the quest for fusion energy. 

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.

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.

Machine ready to see if magic metal – lithium – can help bring the fusion that lights the stars to Earth

Lithium, the light silvery metal used in everything from pharmaceutical applications to batteries that power your smart phone or electric car, could also help harness on Earth the fusion energy that lights the sun and stars. Lithium can maintain the heat and protect the walls inside doughnut-shaped tokamaks that house fusion reactions, and will be used to produce tritium, the hydrogen isotope that will combine with its cousin deuterium to fuel fusion in future reactors.

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