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The study of plasma, a partially-ionized gas that is electrically conductive and able to be confined within a magnetic field, and how it releases energy.

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.

New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER

Scientists seeking to bring fusion — the power that drives the sun and stars — down to Earth must first make the state of matter called plasma superhot enough to sustain fusion reactions. That calls for heating the plasma to many times the temperature of the core of the sun. In ITER, the international fusion facility being built in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power, the device will heat both the free electrons and the atomic nuclei — or ions — that make up the plasma.

New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER

Scientists seeking to bring fusion — the power that drives the sun and stars — down to Earth must first make the state of matter called plasma superhot enough to sustain fusion reactions. That calls for heating the plasma to many times the temperature of the core of the sun. In ITER, the international fusion facility being built in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power, the device will heat both the free electrons and the atomic nuclei — or ions — that make up the plasma.

William Tang wins 2018 Global Impact Award to advance development of AI software to help create “a star on earth”

Physicist William Tang has won a highly competitive $100,000 Global Impact Award from NVIDIA Corp., the leading producer of graphics processing units (GPUs) for carrying out artificial intelligence (AI) computing.  This award was one of two presented at the NVIDIA national GPU technology conference held March 26-29 in San Jose, California.

William Tang wins 2018 Global Impact Award to advance development of AI software to help create “a star on earth”

Physicist William Tang has won a highly competitive $100,000 Global Impact Award from NVIDIA Corp., the leading producer of graphics processing units (GPUs) for carrying out artificial intelligence (AI) computing.  This award was one of two presented at the NVIDIA national GPU technology conference held March 26-29 in San Jose, California.

PPPL-led research enhances performance of Germany’s new fusion device

A team of U.S. and German scientists has used a system of large magnetic “trim” coils designed and delivered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to achieve high performance in the latest round of experiments on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator. The German machine, the world’s largest and most advanced stellarator, is being used to explore the scientific basis for fusion energy and test the suitability of the stellarator design for future fusion power plants.

PPPL-led research enhances performance of Germany’s new fusion device

A team of U.S. and German scientists has used a system of large magnetic “trim” coils designed and delivered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to achieve high performance in the latest round of experiments on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator. The German machine, the world’s largest and most advanced stellarator, is being used to explore the scientific basis for fusion energy and test the suitability of the stellarator design for future fusion power plants.

Chirping is welcome in birds but not in fusion devices – scientists show that weak turbulence makes chirping more likely

Birds do it and so do doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called “tokamaks.” But tokamak chirping— a rapidly changing frequency wave that can be far above what the human ear can detect — is hardly welcome to researchers who seek to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth.  Such chirping signals a loss of heat that can slow fusion reactions, a loss that has long puzzled scientists.

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