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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.

Path-setting theoretical physicist Elena Belova elected an APS Fellow

Elena Belova, a principal research physicist whose work has advanced key areas of fusion research in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been elected a 2020 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). The APS annually recognizes as fellows no more than one-half of one percent of its more than 55,000 worldwide members.

Renowned physicist and former diagnostics developer at PPPL wins Asia Pacific plasma physics award

Hyeon Park, a renowned Korean physicist who developed a key diagnostic system for fusion(link is external) plasmas(link is external) while a principle researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has won the prestigious 2020 Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize for Plasma Physics.

Groundbreaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor is designated a Nuclear Historic Landmark

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has bestowed its distinguished Nuclear Historic Landmark designation on the pioneering Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) that ran from 1982 to 1997 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The groundbreaking facility laid the foundation for future fusion (link is external) power plants and set world records for fusion power (10.7 million watts) in 1994 and total fusion energy production (1,500 million joules) from 1993 to 1997.


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

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