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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.

Scientists propose a novel method for controlling fusion reactions

Scientists have found a novel way to prevent pesky magnetic bubbles in plasma from interfering with fusion reactions – delivering a potential way to improve the performance of fusion energy devices. And it comes from managing radio frequency (RF) waves to stabilize the magnetic bubbles, which can expand and create disruptions that can limit the performance of ITER, the international facility under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

Scientists propose a novel method for controlling fusion reactions

Scientists have found a novel way to prevent pesky magnetic bubbles in plasma from interfering with fusion reactions – delivering a potential way to improve the performance of fusion energy devices. And it comes from managing radio frequency (RF) waves to stabilize the magnetic bubbles, which can expand and create disruptions that can limit the performance of ITER, the international facility under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

First results of an upgraded experiment highlight the value of lithium for the creation of fusion energy

Lithium, the silvery metal that powers smart phones and helps treat bipolar disorders, could also play a significant role in the worldwide effort to harvest on Earth the safe, clean and virtually limitless fusion energy(link is external) that powers the sun and stars. First results of the extensively upgraded Lithium Tokamak Experiment-Beta (LTX-β) at the U.S.

First results of an upgraded experiment highlight the value of lithium for the creation of fusion energy

Lithium, the silvery metal that powers smart phones and helps treat bipolar disorders, could also play a significant role in the worldwide effort to harvest on Earth the safe, clean and virtually limitless fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. First results of the extensively upgraded Lithium Tokamak Experiment-Beta (LTX-β) at the U.S.

Accomplished early career physicist is first recipient of fellowship that honors pioneering PPPL physicist Robert Ellis Jr.

An early career physicist with a strong background in plasma physics who is focused on laser-based diagnostics has been appointed to a fellowship that honors pioneering physicist Robert A. Ellis Jr. and is aimed at encouraging more diversity in plasma physics research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

Doctoral graduate Yuan Shi wins 2020 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award

Physicist Yuan Shi, who received his doctorate from the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics in 2018, has won the prestigious 2020 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award presented by the American Physical Society (APS).  The award recognizes “exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis research of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of plasma physics.” 

Doctoral graduate Yuan Shi wins 2020 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award

Physicist Yuan Shi, who received his doctorate from the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics in 2018, has won the prestigious 2020 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award presented by the American Physical Society (APS). The award recognizes “exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis research of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of plasma physics.” 

While birds chirp, plasma shouldn’t: New insight into the formation of chirping could advance the development of fusion energy

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have furthered understanding of a barrier that can prevent doughnut-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks from operating at high efficiency by causing vital heat to be lost from them.

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