The big holes in Swiss cheese help make it a tasty treat. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are adding tiny, Swiss-cheese-type holes to components to improve the process of bringing to Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.
Want to improve your chances of making electricity from fusion? Look no further than the cleaners under your kitchen sink.
Research led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) provides new evidence that particles of boron, the main ingredient of Borax household cleaner, can coat internal components of doughnut-shaped plasma devices known as tokamaks and improve the efficiency of the fusion reactions.
Arms control robots and accelerating the drive to bring fusion energy to Earth are among achievements that made 2019 another remarkable PPPL year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Major developments in the use of lithium to improve the performance of fusion plasmas — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that fuels fusion reactions — have earned a trio of physicists the 2018 outstanding research awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Scientists around the world are seeking to replicate on Earth the fusion that drives the sun and stars to produce a virtually inexhaustible supply of energy to generate electricity.
Recent work illuminates laboratory research.
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.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
© 2021 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.