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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.

Steady as she goes: Scientists tame damaging plasma instabilities and pave the way for efficient fusion on Earth

In a set of recent experiments, scientists have tamed a plasma instability in a way that could lead to the efficient and steady state operation of ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power. 

Forgoing beach, high school students spend summer studying physics

While most teenagers might have been spending the hot summer months at the beach, a dedicated crew of high school students devoted the past three months conducting physics and engineering research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). On August 8, 15 high school students from the New Jersey area and around the country who had participated in the 10-week high school internship program presented their findings in a poster session.

Forgoing beach, high school students spend summer studying physics

While most teenagers might have been spending the hot summer months at the beach, a dedicated crew of high school students devoted the past three months conducting physics and engineering research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). On August 8, 15 high school students from the New Jersey area and around the country who had participated in the 10-week high school internship program presented their findings in a poster session.

Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch can make the grid more efficient for long-distance transmission

Inside your home and office, low-voltage alternating current (AC) powers the lights, computers and electronic devices for everyday use. But when the electricity comes from remote long-distance sources such as hydro-power or solar generating plants, transporting it as direct current (DC) is more efficient  — and converting it back to AC current requires bulky and expensive switches. Now the General Electric (GE) company, with assistance from scientists at the U.S.

Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch can make the grid more efficient for long-distance transmission

Inside your home and office, low-voltage alternating current (AC) powers the lights, computers and electronic devices for everyday use. But when the electricity comes from remote long-distance sources such as hydro-power or solar generating plants, transporting it as direct current (DC) is more efficient  — and converting it back to AC current requires bulky and expensive switches. Now the General Electric (GE) company, with assistance from scientists at the U.S.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry cheers on fusion energy, science education at PPPL

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s (PPPL) mission of doing research to develop fusion as a viable source of energy is vital to the future of the planet, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said during an Aug. 9 visit. 

“It’s important not just to PPPL, not just to the DOE (Department of Energy) but to the world,” Perry told staff members during an all-hands meeting. “If we’re able to deliver fusion energy to the world, we’re able to change the world forever.” 

Workshop advances plans for coping with disruptions on international ITER facility

The sixth Annual Theory and Simulation of Disruptions Workshop at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) made substantial progress toward planning a system for mitigating disruptions on ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power. Disruptions, the sudden loss of heat in plasma that halts fusion reactions, can seriously damage ITER and other doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks, and are among the major challenges facing the international experiment. 

Workshop advances plans for coping with disruptions on international ITER facility

The sixth Annual Theory and Simulation of Disruptions Workshop at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) made substantial progress toward planning a system for mitigating disruptions on ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power. Disruptions, the sudden loss of heat in plasma that halts fusion reactions, can seriously damage ITER and other doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks, and are among the major challenges facing the international experiment. 

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