Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are assisting General Electric Co. in developing an electrical switch that could help lower utility bills. The advanced switch “could contribute to a smarter, more advanced, more reliable, and more secure electric grid,” according to the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which is funding the GE project.
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.
Graduate student Jonathan Squire has won a highly competitive Honorific Fellowship from the Princeton University Graduate School. The award, for which Squire was nominated by the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics at PPPL, recognizes outstanding performance and professional promise and provides tuition and a stipend to fellowship winners.
Francis “Rip” William Perkins Jr., a pioneering plasma physicist whose contributions to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) ranged from seminal advances in fusion energy and astrophysical research to the education of a generation of scientists, died on July 26 in Boulder, Colo. He was 80 and had long battled Parkinson’s disease.
Some 35 physicists from around the world gathered at PPPL last week for the second annual Laboratory-led workshop on improving ways to predict and mitigate disruptions in tokamaks. Avoiding or mitigating such disruptions, which occur when heat or electric current are suddenly reduced during fusion experiments, will be crucial for ITER the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.
Stewart Prager, who has completed his first five-year term as director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has agreed to continue in that position. “I was originally drawn to the prospect of leading a large laboratory and a terrific staff,” Prager said, “and to helping shape the national program in fusion and plasma physics. All those reasons still stand.”
Princeton University graduate student Michael Campanell has won a highly competitive Lawrence Fellowship, resulting in a postdoctoral position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Campanell was one of just two candidates selected from a field of 163 applicants for the coming academic year for the fellowship, which is open to all technical disciplines.
“I was thrilled to receive this fellowship,” Campanell said. "I think it is the best possible fit for me."
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is looking forward to reopening the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U) after “stellar” progress in the $94 million upgrade of the facility that should allow it to be completed by December of this year, Lab Director Stewart Prager told PPPL staff during his annual State of the Laboratory speech on April 29.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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