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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.

Cool Science on a Hot Day as 3,000 Flock to PPPL’s June 1 Open House

More than 3,000 people flocked to PPPL’s Open House on June 1 where they were treated to rare glimpses of every corner of the Laboratory – from the machine shop water jets to tours of the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U).  

About 175 PPPL staff members, including some family members, volunteered their time on a hot, sunny Saturday for the event, whether it was handing out snacks and water bottles, giving passersby directions or staffing the “Ask the Physicist,” and “Ask the Engineer” booth in the D Site parking lot.

David A Gates

David Gates is a principal research physicist for the advanced projects division of PPPL, and the stellarator physics leader at the Laboratory. In the latter capacity he leads collaborative efforts with the Wendelstein 7-X and Large Helical Device stellarator projects in Germany and Japan, respectively. 

Dr. Michael C Zarnstorff

Michael Zarnstorff has been deputy director of research at PPPL since 2009 and a physicist at PPPL since 1984.  As deputy director, he oversees physics experiments at PPPL and collaborations on fusion experiments around the world.  Zarnstorff graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in physics in 1984.

Stefan Gerhardt

Stefan Gerhardt is head of Experimental Research Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment- Upgrade (NSTX-U). He operates numerous diagnostics on NSTX-U, along with designing plasma control schemes and running physics experiments. He has previously worked on a wide variety of fusion machines, including spherical tokamaks, stellarators, and field reversed configurations. 

PPPL-designed coil critical to experiment arrives in stellar condition

Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have designed and delivered a crucial barn-door size component for a major device for developing fusion power. The component, called a “trim coil,” marks the initial installment of one of the largest hardware collaborations that PPPL has conducted with an international partner.

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