Energy

  • Discovered: A new way to measure the stability of next-generation magnetic fusion devices

    Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Scientists seeking to bring to Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars must control the hot, charged plasma — the state of matter composed of free-floating electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions — that fuels fusion reactions. For scientists who confine the plasma in magnetic fields, a key task calls for mapping the shape of the fields, a process known as measuring the equilibrium, or stability, of the plasma. At the U.S.

  • Tiny granules can help bring clean and abundant fusion power to Earth

    Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019
    by Raphael Rosen, PPPL

    Beryllium, a hard, silvery metal long used in X-ray machines and spacecraft, is finding a new role in the quest to bring the power that drives the sun and stars to Earth. Beryllium is one of the two main materials used for the wall in ITER, a multinational fusion facility under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power. Now, physicists from the U.S.

  • Will Fox wins 2019 Thomas H. Stix Award for early career contributions to plasma physics

    Monday, Jul 1, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Leadership of laboratory experiments that bring astrophysical processes down to Earth has won physicist Will Fox the 2019 Thomas H. Stix Award.  The American Physical Society (APS) honor, which recognizes outstanding early career contributions to plasma physics, was established in 2013 in the name of the late Thomas H. Stix, the pioneering plasma researcher who founded the graduate plasma physics program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

    Original and seminal experiments

  • Advances in plasma and fusion science over the past year are described in Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine

    Monday, Jul 1, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    From helping the nation’s power grid to advancing the creation of “a star in a jar” for a virtually endless supply of electric power, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed insights and discoveries over the past year that advance understanding of the universe and the prospect for safe, clean, and abundant energy.

  • Rapid Switch project to assess practicality and pace of global climate strategies

    Monday, Jun 24, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Princeton University convened an international research team June 11-13 to begin a five-year effort to frame a realistic global response to climate change that accounts for massive economic development in countries, including India and China.

  • Alcatraz Island is unlikely place of learning for students of energy innovation

    Monday, Jun 17, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    On Alcatraz Island, students from Princeton University peered across the San Francisco skyline from a solar rooftop. Their visit to the historic prison’s electricity microgrid was one stop on a spring break trip to see emerging energy technologies, part of a new course on energy innovation and entrepreneurship.

    “Before this class I didn't even know what the energy sector looked like,” said Diego Fierros, a senior studying mechanical and aerospace engineering. “It was a giant engineering conglomerate.”

  • Tracking major sources of energy loss in compact fusion facilities

    Monday, Jun 10, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    A key obstacle to controlling on Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars is leakage of energy and particles from plasma, the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that fuels fusion reactions. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), physicists have been focusing on validating computer simulations that forecast energy losses caused by turbulent transport during fusion experiments.

  • Researchers uncover a new obstacle to effective accelerator beams

    Thursday, Jun 6, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    High-energy ion beams — laser-like beams of atomic particles fired through accelerators — have applications that range from inertial confinement fusion to the production of superhot extreme states of matter that are thought to exist in the core of giant planets like Jupiter and that researchers are eager to study. These positively charged ion beams must be neutralized by negatively charged electrons to keep them sharply focused. However, researchers have found many obstacles to the neutralization process.

    Featured Article

  • Four scientists at PPPL awarded national and international honors

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Jeanne Jackson DeVoe, and Raphael Rosen, PPPL

    Institutions ranging from NASA to the Korean Physical Society have recently bestowed national and international honors on four scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The awards recognize a veteran and three early career physicists for their path-setting achievements in fusion and plasma science research. The honorees and their notable contributions:

    Rajesh Maingi named Fellow of the American Nuclear Society

  • Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth

    Friday, May 17, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Machine learning (ML), a form of artificial intelligence that recognizes faces, understands language and navigates self-driving cars, can help bring to Earth the clean fusion energy that lights the sun and stars. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are using ML to create a model for rapid control of plasma — the state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions — that fuels fusion reactions.

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