More than 350 participants from around the world will gather in Plainsboro, N.J., on September 30 for the 66th Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC). The week-long event will bring together physicists from numerous plasma science disciplines for workshops, panels and poster sessions on topics ranging from basic research to uses for plasma in microchip etching, nano- material manufacturing and other technologies.
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.
(Watch video: http://www.pppl.gov/star%20power)
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has released “Star Power,” a new informational video that uses dramatic and beautiful images and thought-provoking interviews to highlight the importance of the Laboratory’s research into magnetic fusion.
The 10-minute movie will be shown to the thousands of visitors who come to PPPL on tours and is posted on the Laboratory’s website, www.pppl.gov.
Summer is a time that many teenagers prefer to spend relaxing and soaking up the sun at the beach, but 10 high school students at PPPL decided instead to spend their summer soaking up plasma physics knowledge and performing hands-on research.
The high school interns started on July 1, taking a three-day introductory course in plasma physics, offered as part of the program for the first time. Following the course, the students scattered throughout the Laboratory with each assigned a mentor.
For one week every summer, a small group of teachers gathers at PPPL to relive student days. At this year’s Plasma Camp, a professional development program for science educators, 10 high school physics teachers lived together in a college dormitory, got lost together as they navigated the circuitous laboratory building, and learned as they created new plasma-based curricula.
Dutch graduate student Jasper van Rens recently completed a three-month assignment at PPPL to study a diagnostic technique that will be crucial to the success of ITER, the huge international fusion facility under construction in France. Working with Fred Levinton and Howard Yuh of PPPL subcontractor Nova Photonics, Van Rens investigated the impact of reflected light on the ITER Motional Stark Effect (MSE) instrument, which measures the internal magnetic configuration of fusion plasmas.
Leading experts from around the world gathered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in July to focus on a key issue for the development of fusion energy: Improving ways to predict and mitigate disruptions that can destroy magnetically confined plasmas that are needed for fusion reactions.
Rich Hawryluk served as Deputy Director-General for the ITER Organization and Director of the ITER Administration Department. ITER is an international fusion experiment that is under construction in France. Hawryluk, a former deputy director of PPPL, completed a two-year assignment at ITER in April, 2013.
Author Daniel Clery recently published “A Piece of the Sun,” a 320-page narrative of the history of fusion research and the personalities who have devoted their careers to it. Clery is a United Kingdom-based reporter for Science magazine who holds a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics from York University and has covered fusion for more than a decade. While hardly an uncritical flag-waver for fusion, he recognizes its vast potential. He discussed his new book and the future of fusion with PPPL Science Writer John Greenwald.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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