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Figure-eight shaped tubes that confine hot plasma with external magnetic fields, developed by Lyman Spitzer in 1950 at the lab that became the PPPL.

Top 10 PPPL stories that you shouldn’t miss

The past year saw many firsts in experimental and theoretical research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the Laboratory’s top findings in 2016, from the first results on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade to a new use for Einstein’s theory of special relativity to modeling the disk that feeds the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

1. First results of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U)

PPPL and Max Planck physicists confirm the precision of magnetic fields in the most advanced stellarator in the world

Physicist Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with German scientists to confirm that the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device called a stellarator in Greifswald, Germany, produces high-quality magnetic fields that are consistent with their complex design.

PPPL and Max Planck physicists confirm the precision of magnetic fields in the most advanced stellarator in the world

Physicist Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with German scientists to confirm that the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device called a stellarator in Greifswald, Germany, produces high-quality magnetic fields that are consistent with their complex design.

Students do cool summer research projects in one of the hottest spots

More than 40 college students pursuing careers in physics, engineering and computer science are spending their summer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory working with scientists and engineers on hands-on research projects.  Here they talk about the cool science they did at the Lab, which is devoted to fusion energy and plasma science research.

COLLOQUIUM: Wendelstein 7-X: Highlights from the First Operational Phase of the New Optimized Stellarator

On December 10, 2015, the superconducting optimised stellarator “Wendelstein 7-X” was switched on and created its first plasma. Over the ten-week commissioning phase that followed, a wealth of data was collected and the first experiments conducted. In this presentation, some highlights of the plasma physics program, including some unexpected results, will be reported and the performance and capabilities of the new machine will be summarized. Finally, plans for the future of the device and progress towards steady-state operation will be outlined.

DOE’s Ed Synakowski traces key discoveries in the quest for fusion energy

The path to creating sustainable fusion energy as a clean, abundant and affordable source of electric energy has been filled with “aha moments” that have led to a point in history when the international fusion experiment, ITER, is poised to produce more fusion energy than it uses when it is completed in 15 to 20 years, said Ed Synakowski, associate director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

PPPL, Princeton University physicists join German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Wendelstein 7-X celebration

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) physicists collaborating on the Wendelstein 7-X (W 7-X) stellarator fusion energy device in Greifswald, Germany, were on hand for the Feb. 3 celebration when German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed a button to produce a hydrogen-fueled superhot gas called a plasma. The occasion officially recognized a device that is the largest and most advanced fusion experiment of its kind in the world.

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