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Science literacy

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Having the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes necessary to make informed decisions on scientific issues.

Young scientists show off hands-on research projects at PPPL

For Dhruvit Patel, a rising senior majoring in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University, the 10 weeks he spent at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) were a welcome opportunity to do hands-on research.

He spent the summer working on a nozzle that can be used to coat the inner wall of a tokamak – a plasma fusion device – with liquid metal. But before he even got started, he had to do a lot of research and preparation. 

COLLOQUIUM: PPPL at t = 0

A look at the founding of PPPL, which began in 1951 as Project Matterhorn S (S for Stellarator). I shall discuss the principal people who were involved (Lyman Spitzer, John Wheeler, and others), the original close linkage between the plasma physics team and the H-bomb team, and the temper of the times that made it all possible. My perspective is based in part on my having been there at the beginning.

NASA aerospace engineer tells more than 600 girls to reach for the stars at PPPL’s Young Women’s conference

NASA aerospace engineer Aprille Ericsson told more than 600 seventh- to tenth-grade girls at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s Young Women’s Conference that she was depending on them to pursue their dreams and make their ideas a reality in the wide-open field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“You guys are very capable of so many ideas and I’m depending on you,” Ericsson told an enthusiastic audience at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium at the March 23 event. “Don’t be scared to keep pushing forward until you achieve your dream.” 

COLLOQUIUM: Let's Go to Mars!

With over 25 years of experience at NASA, Dr. Aprille Ericsson has a passion for space and its exploration. Join us for Dr. Ericsson's presentation where she will talk about the challenges of a 'mission' to Mars, describing NASA's role in space - where we have been, and considerations we need to make in order to get to where we want to go.

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The physics of ice cream helps inspire students at PPPL’s STEM Day

More than 35 students from Orange in the north and Moorestown in the south came to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in central New Jersey in early March for a day of science fun that included ice cream made with cryogenics, cool plasma demos, and a hands-on workshop in which they made motors.

The activities were all part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Day at the Lab on March 2 and they had a serious aim: engaging students in science and technology and hopefully pointing the way to future careers. 

West Windsor-Plainsboro South wins U.S. Department of Energy’s N.J. Regional High School Science Bowl at PPPL for third consecutive year

Two Princeton-area teams will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Science Bowl® finals after winning the regional middle school and high school competitions at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) New Jersey Science Bowl® at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) Feb. 24 to 25.

PPPL astrophysicist Matthew Kunz named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow

Matthew Kunz, a physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and an assistant professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, has been named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow. The two-year, $60,000 fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation recognizes early career scientists of outstanding promise who have been nominated by their colleagues. Kunz, who studies the detailed plasma physics of space and astrophysical systems, was among 126 researchers, including six Princeton University faculty members, to receive a 2017 Sloan fellowship.   

A contest of the minds at N.J. Regional Science Bowl

Teams of middle school and high school students from as far away as Delaware and New York will come to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) Feb. 24 to Feb. 25 to compete in a battle of the minds in 12 fierce rounds of competition answering challenging math, science and technology questions at the DOE’s New Jersey Regional Science Bowl®, 100 Stellarator Road, Princeton, New Jersey.

Assembly and Actuation of Magnetic Polymers and Membranes by Precessing Magnetic Fields

Abstract: ​Magnetic colloids are used in drug delivery, tissue scaffolding, image contrast, and tumor reduction applications as well as self-healing membranes. Flexible magnetic filaments can be synthesized by joining superparamagnetic beads with elastic linkers, giving rise to interesting phenomena due to the combinations of their elastic and magnetic properties, which have found diverse applications, such as micro-mechanical sensors and self-propelled swimmers.

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