Quest, the annual research magazine of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is now online here. This year’s issue arrives following the recommendation of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel chaired by PPPL senior physicist Richard Hawryluk that the U.S. move quickly to accelerate the development of fusion energy. The panel presented the recommendation to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the sole body of non-governmental advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House.
PPPL, which is managed by Princeton University, is rapidly advancing in support of this recommendation, which calls for collaborating with private industry.
Described in the Collaborations pages of the Quest issue is the Lab’s work with private fusion companies, many of them startups attracted to the promise of fusion energy, to address the scientific and technical issues that they face. PPPL is also deeply engaged in exploring all design, engineering and fabrication issues required to bring a pilot plant into operation.
The sections of Quest, ranging from New Paths to Fusion Energy and Advancing Fusion Theory to People and Education and Outreach, highlight in brief and reader-friendly summaries the Laboratory’s path-setting progress in scientific fields. These include our recent expansions into quantum microelectronics and new areas of computer science.
Such ventures blend naturally into PPPL and its world-class departments, which are highlighted in pieces that extend from new discoveries on bringing to Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars to exploring plasma, the fourth state of matter that fuels fusion reactions and makes up 99% of the visible universe.
We hope readers will enjoy the breakthroughs described in this issue and will gain a new appreciation of the roles of plasma and fusion energy and their promise to provide a clean and carbon-free source of energy to generate electricity for humankind.
PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science