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Scientists at PPPL further understanding of a process that causes heat loss in fusion devices

Everyone knows that the game of billiards involves balls careening off the sides of a pool table — but few people may know that the same principle applies to fusion reactions. How charged particles like electrons and atomic nuclei that make up plasma interact with the walls of doughnut-shaped devices known as tokamaks helps determine how efficiently fusion reactions occur. Specifically, in a phenomenon known as secondary electron emission (SEE), electrons strike the surface of the wall, causing other electrons to be emitted.

Valeria Riccardo

Valeria Riccardo is PPPL’s head of engineering, the largest department at PPPL. She worked for more than 20 years at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, England, which operates the Joint European Torus (JET) and the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) facility, a sister facility to PPPL. As chief engineer at the Culham Center for ve years, she was responsible for ensuring that the consequences of any design, installation and operation decision were understood.

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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