A dozen undergraduate students spent the afternoon doing experiments aimed at teaching them some fundamentals about electromagnets through the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s (PPPL) Undergraduate Workshop in Plasma Physics, but instead of sitting at laboratory tables the students built small homemade batteries and electromagnets in their own living rooms and bedrooms.
The acronym for the study of science technology, engineering and mathematics, identified as essential in education.
A challenge to creating fusion energy on Earth is trapping the charged gas known as plasma that fuels fusion reactions within a strong magnetic field and keeping the plasma as hot and dense as possible for as long as possible. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have gained new insight into a common type of hiccup known as the sawtooth instability that cools the hot plasma in the center and interferes with the fusion reactions. These findings could help bring fusion energy closer to reality.
One way that scientists seek to bring to Earth the fusion process that powers the sun and stars is trapping hot, charged plasma gas within a twisting magnetic coil device shaped like a breakfast cruller. But the device, called a stellarator, must be precisely engineered to prevent heat from escaping the plasma core where it stokes the fusion reactions. Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have demonstrated that an advanced computer code could help design stellarators that confine the essential heat more effectively.
More than 100 PPPL parents and children attended the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work (at Home) Day on April 23 to watch plasma experiments and find out about science experiments they can do at home. (The experiments are listed below).
The virtual event was led by Science Education senior program leaders Shannon Swilley Greco and Arturo Dominguez, with the help of Swilley Greco’s three children, Annika, 2, Ryan, 5, and Lukas, 7, and some enthusiastic virtual participants.
Like most teams preparing for a big competition, the 16 middle school teams and 32 high school teams coming to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on Feb. 21 and 22 are drilling their hardest, discussing strategy, and getting pep talks from their coaches.
As a first-generation college student, Barbara Garcia had to figure out a lot of things on her own when applying for college. Her parents were Mexican immigrants who didn’t go to college and couldn’t help her navigate the application process, couldn’t help her study for the SATs or look over her application essays.
“Being a first-generation college student has influenced me by teaching me independence and helping me to carve my own path,” Garcia said. “I didn’t have my parents to guide me toward STEM – I just sort of found it on my own and discovered physics on my own.”
When friends asked Promise Adebayo-Ige what he was doing over the summer, he told them he was trying to save the world by working at a national laboratory devoted to developing fusion energy.
Adebayo-Ige has been fascinated with the idea of fusion as an inexhaustible, inexpensive, and clean source of generating electric energy since he was a teenager. Now a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, he plans to attend graduate school in nuclear engineering with the goal of working on the quest for fusion energy.
Interns spent their summer working with PPPL scientists and engineers on a wide variety of projects.
Hillary Stephens is a physics professor at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, a two-year college in Lakewood, Washington, where students typically aren’t exposed to research experiments. Stephens came to a three-day workshop at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) hoping to find plasma physics experiments she can bring back to the classroom.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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