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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.

COLLOQUIUM: W7-X Status Report

The world's most advanced stellarator, Wendelstein 7-X, located in Greifswald, Germany, is rapidly approaching first plasma operation. Its purpose is to demonstrate the fusion reactor relevance of the optimized stellarator. The experiment is built for steady-state operation, featuring 70 superconducting coils, up to 10 MW of steady-state ECRH heating, and actively cooled plasma facing components.  The full operational magnetic field strength of 2.5 T has been reached, and the required topology - nested magnetic flux surfaces - has been verified.

COLLOQUIUM: Stellarator Research at PPPL and Beyond

Recent stellarator research activities have focused on international collaboration, primarily on W7-X. The activities include construction of the trim coil set on W7-X, design and construction of an X-ray imaging crystal spectrometer, and design of a plasma component known as the "scraper element". The status of these research tools will be summarized and planning for the initial operational phase of W7-X, currently planned for July of this year, will be discussed. Planning is well underway for PPPL participation in the initial operational of W7-X.

Neilson visits German stellarator to pave way for U.S. researchers

Hutch Neilson, PPPL’s head of Advanced Projects, is saying “auf wiedersehen” to the Lab for the next nine months as he travels to Greifswald, Germany, where he will be paving the way for future U.S. researchers to participate on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) program as the experiment begins preparing for operations next year.

David Gates, a principal research physicist and the stellarator physics leader at PPPL, will be serving as Interim Head of Advanced Projects in Neilson’s absence.

PPPL’s dynamic diagnostic duo

Kenneth Hill and Manfred Bitter are scientific pioneers who have collaborated seamlessly for more than 35 years. Together they have revolutionized a key instrument in the quest to harness fusion energy — a device called an X-ray crystal spectrometer that is used around the world to reveal strikingly detailed information about the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions.

Celebrating Lyman Spitzer, the father of PPPL and the Hubble Space Telescope

Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer Jr. (1914-1997) was among the 20th Century’s most visionary scientists. His major influences range from founding the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and its quest for fusion energy, to inspiring the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and its images of the far corners of the universe.

Two PPPL physicists elected to receive prestigious honor

PPPL physicists David Gates and Charles Skinner have been named as American Physical Society fellows – a prestigious honor that is given to only one half of one percent of all APS members each year.

Gates, a principal research physicist and stellarator physics lead who has been at PPPL for 16 years, and Skinner, a principal research physicist at PPPL for 31 years whose work has focused on spectroscopy and plasma-wall interactions, will be honored at the APS Division of Plasma Physics meeting in Denver Nov. 11 to 15. The two bring the total number of APS fellows at PPPL to 51.


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