ITER fusion reactor tokamak. Credit: ITER   ANIMATION A tokamak is a machine that confines a plasma using magnetic fields in a donut shape that scientists call a torus. Fusion energy scientists believe that tokamaks are the leading plasma confinement concept for future fusion power plants. In a tokamak, magnetic field coils confine plasma […]

3-D image reconstruction of a sample of irradiated fuel, showing the three thresholded uranium phases co-existing with pores. Credit: Maria Okuniewski / Purdue University In a feat requiring perseverance, world-leading technology, and no small amount of caution, scientists have used intense X-rays to inspect irradiated nuclear fuel. The imaging, led […]

Credit: CC0 Public Domain On the path to writing his Ph.D. dissertation, Lucio Milanese made a discovery—one that refocused his research, and will now likely dominate his thesis. Milanese studies plasma, a gas-like flow of ions and electrons that comprises 99 percent of the visible universe, including the Earth’s ionosphere, interstellar […]

Researchers are fine-tuning the application of plasma to agriculture to speed up germination and help plants grow strong. Ever since scientists discovered that plasma treatment leads to faster growth and higher yields of some agricultural crops, physicists, chemists, and biologists have been working together to tease out the mechanisms driving this phenomenon. […]

Magnetic reconnection is generated by the irradiation of the LFEX laser into the micro-coil. The particle outflow accelerated by the magnetic reconnection is evaluated using several detectors. As an example of the results, proton outflows with symmetric distributions were observed. Credit: Osaka University Scientists at Osaka University use extremely intense […]

PPPL physicist Christopher Smiet helped produce findings that could bring fusion-produced electricity closer to being a reality. Credit: Pamela Serai A challenge to creating fusion energy on Earth is trapping the charged gas known as plasma that fuels fusion reactions within a strong magnetic field and keeping the plasma as […]

Image showing spiraling magnetic field fluctuations at the edge of the NSTX tokamak. Credit: Physics of Plasmas. Composition by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications. Blobs can wreak havoc in plasma required for fusion reactions. This bubble-like turbulence swells up at the edge of fusion plasmas and drains heat from the edge, […]

PPPL scientists have borrowed a technique from applied mathematics to rapidly predict the behavior of fusion plasma at a much-reduced computational cost. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications. A key issue for scientists seeking to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth is forecasting the performance […]