NEWS: Plasma science

IAP fusor workshop inaugurates Nuclear Maker Space

Research engineer Willy Burke had never heard of a “fusor.” Now he has guided the successful creation of 14 fusors, in the process inaugurating a new maker space sponsored by the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, the PSFC, and MIT’s office of Environmental Health and Safety.

PSFC

Demonstrating the fundamentals of fusion

The month of October provided the PSFC with consecutive opportunities to educate students and the general public about the science and technology that support plasma fusion research: MIT Energy Night (October 11) at the MIT Museum, and the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP) Plasma Science Expo (October 24, 25) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

PSFC

PSFC physicist Maria Gatu Johnson wins APS award

Research scientist Maria Gatu Johnson, part of the PSFC’s High-Energy-Density Physics Division, will receive the American Physical Society’s Katherine E. Weimer Award, which recognizes outstanding plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early stages of her career.

Julian Picard, MIT

Julian Picard: Chopping microwaves, sharpening instincts

Picard's study of the microwaves that speed from the megawatt gyrotron at MIT’s PSFC could lead the way to smaller and more powerful particle accelerators, the kind of finished product Picard finds rewarding.  

PSFC

Talking fusion at the MIT Energy Conference

On April 4 the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) joined Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) at the MIT Energy Conference Tech Showcase, to demonstrate the magnetic and plasma properties that underlie fusion technologies.

PSFC

Members of the HEDP division, MIT

Stronger together

Officially entitled the Center for Advanced Nuclear Diagnostics and Platforms for Inertial ICF and HEDP at Omega, NIF and Z, the new Center will focus on the properties of plasma under extreme conditions of temperature, density and pressure.

PSFC

Reaching in and out at the APS DPP meeting

Along with traditional outreach activities the PSFC introduced SPARC for the first time at a scientific conference during technical sessions devoted to MIT’s high-field approach to fusion.

PSFC

Nuno Loureiro, MIT

Nuno Loureiro: Probing the world of plasmas

As a boy in Portugal, Nuno Loureiro wanted to be a scientist, even when “everyone else wanted to be a policeman or a fireman.” He’s now focused on the physics of plasma, with applications in both astrophysics and clean energy.

MIT News

Alex Creely receives Itoh Project Prize

NSE graduate student Alex Creely has received the Kyushu University Itoh Project Prize for his poster “Cross-Machine Validation of TGLF and GENE on Alcator C-Mod and ASDEX Upgrade.” The prize recognizes excellence in doctoral student plasma physics research.

PSFC

Magnets, compasses and lightsabers

In Washington DC scientific curiosity was at its peak, along with the cherry blossoms, during the fifth biennial USA Science and Engineering Festival. Thousands of the approximately 370,000 attendees stopped by the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) booth from April 6 – 8 to learn about plasmas and magnets, which are key to the Center’s pursuit of fusion energy.

PSFC

3Q: Zach Hartwig on MIT's big push on fusion

Today, MIT announced plans to work with a newly formed company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), to realize the promise of fusion as a source of unlimited, safe, carbon-free energy. 

MIT News

Pablo Rodriguez Fernandez, MIT

Integrated simulation

A team led by MIT professor Anne White, and NSE graduate student Pablo Rodriguez Fernandez,  has conducted studies that offer a new take on the complex physics of plasma heat transport, and point toward more robust models of fusion plasma behavior.

Nuclear Science and Engineering

plasma reconnection

Study sheds light on turbulence in astrophysical plasmas

Most of these plasmas, including the solar wind that constantly flows out from the sun and sweeps through the solar system, exist in a turbulent state. MIT's Loureiro and Boldyrev have proposed a new model to explain these dynamic turbulent processes.

MIT News

Chikang Li, Richard Petrasso, Fredrick Seguin

Twelve from MIT honored by American Physical Society

Three members of MIT's PSFC High-Energy-Density Physics Division Richard Petrasso, Chikang Li, and Fredrick Seguin — were honored with the APS John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research.

School of Science

Alex Creely, MIT

VIDEO: Alex Creely: Bridging the gap between simulation and reality

In his third year at MIT, Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) graduate student Alex Creely has figured out enough about the hot, turbulent plasmas necessary for creating fusion energy that his research has been honored with an Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award, offered by the Office of Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Technology R&D of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Monica Pham, MIT

VIDEO: Monica Pham: Advancing nuclear power and empowering girls

When she was 16, Monica Pham mapped out her future. “My chemistry teacher was talking about how atoms could generate unlimited power,” recalls Pham. “I asked her what kind of person worked in this field, and when she said a nuclear engineer, I decided that’s what I wanted to be.”

Fusion heating gets a boost

Fusion researchers at the PSFC, with colleagues in Belgium and the UK, have created a new method of heating fusion plasmas in tokamaks. The new method has resulted in raising trace amounts of ions to megaelectronvolt (MeV) energies — an order of magnitude greater than previously achieved.

PSFC

PSFC researchers honored with John Dawson Award

PSFC's Richard Petrasso, Chikang Li, and Fredrick Seguin were selected to share the award for “the pioneering use of proton radiography to reveal new aspects of flows, instabilities, and fields in high-energy-density (HED) plasmas.”

PSFC

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