A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

Plasma physics

Subscribe to RSS - Plasma physics

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.

Shake, rattle, roll: Turbulence found to disrupt the crucial magnetic fields in fusion energy devices

The swirls created by milk poured into coffee or the shudders that can jolt airplanes in flight are examples of turbulence, the chaotic movement of matter found throughout nature. Turbulence also occurs within tokamaks, doughnut-shaped facilities that house the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered that turbulence may play an increased role in affecting the self-driven, or bootstrap, current in plasma that is necessary for tokamak fusion reactions.

Shake, rattle, roll: Turbulence found to disrupt the crucial magnetic fields in fusion energy devices

The swirls created by milk poured into coffee or the shudders that can jolt airplanes in flight are examples of turbulence, the chaotic movement of matter found throughout nature. Turbulence also occurs within tokamaks, doughnut-shaped facilities that house the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered that turbulence may play an increased role in affecting the self-driven, or bootstrap, current in plasma that is necessary for tokamak fusion reactions.

Staircase to the stars: Turbulence in fusion plasmas may not be all bad

Turbulence, the swirling eddies and currents that jostle fluids and air, is traditionally seen as disruptive of efforts to capture and control on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. Now a discovery by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and General Atomics has found that enhanced turbulence in the edge of the plasma may actually improve the thermal insulation required to achieve fusion energy.

Surprise finding

Public-private INFUSE projects to speed fusion development housed at PPPL

State-of-the-art computer codes and world-class expertise at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will provide four of the first 12 collaborations under the newly created Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program. The public-private partnerships, funded by the DOE Office of Science, are intended to speed the development on Earth of the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.

Public-private INFUSE projects to speed fusion development housed at PPPL

State-of-the-art computer codes and world-class expertise at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will provide four of the first 12 collaborations under the newly created Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program. The public-private partnerships, funded by the DOE Office of Science, are intended to speed the development on Earth of the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.

Versatile physics leader Stefan Gerhardt elected an APS fellow

Stefan Gerhardt, who heads research operations and serves as deputy director of the recovery project for the flagship fusion facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been elected a 2019 American Physical Society (APS) Fellow. The APS annually recognizes as fellows no more than one-half of one percent of its more than 55,000 worldwide members.

Pages

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

Website suggestions and feedback

Pinterest · Instagram · LinkedIn · Tumblr.

PPPL is ISO-14001 certified

Princeton University Institutional Compliance Program

Privacy Policy · Sign In (for staff)

© 2019 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.

Princeton University
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
P.O. Box 451
Princeton, NJ 08543-0451
GPS: 100 Stellarator Road
Princeton, NJ, 08540
(609) 243-2000