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Plasma physics

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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.

Researchers poised to deliver key scientific findings in the fast lane

Streaming data, the online process that brings movies, music and videos instantly into homes, is poised to accelerate the worldwide distribution of scientific discoveries in fusion research. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have demonstrated the streaming and rapid analysis of findings from a fusion reactor in South Korea to Princeton, New Jersey.

Renowned physicist steps down from Theory Department leadership at PPPL to devote full time to teaching and research

When Amitava Bhattacharjee returned to his academic roots to head the Theory Department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in 2012, the department had lacked stable leadership for several years and was nearing a funding crunch. Within a year of Bhattacharjee’s arrival, “the department had a budget crisis that forced us to institute a voluntary separation plan,” he said.

Renowned physicist steps down from Theory Department leadership at PPPL to devote full time to teaching and research

When Amitava Bhattacharjee returned to his academic roots to head the Theory Department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in 2012, the department had lacked stable leadership for several years and was nearing a funding crunch. Within a year of Bhattacharjee’s arrival, “the department had a budget crisis that forced us to institute a voluntary separation plan,” he said.

Intern talks about his upcoming summer of research and fusion energy with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

An intern about to start a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and another University of Texas-Dallas student kicked off their summer with a friendly online chat with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about their plans for the summer.

New insights into behavior of ultra-dense star core

Scattered throughout the universe are unimaginably dense remnants of stellar death, cold cores of large stars that have burned through their fuel, collapsed, and blown off their outer layers in supernova explosions. Known as neutron stars, these exotic remnants are often gravitationally locked with another star and over time siphon off some of the other star’s outermost surfaces.

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