NEWS: Magnetic fusion energy

Alex Creely at MIT Energy Night

Energy Night provides close-up look at MIT’s fusion future

Liquid nitrogen flowed and plasma glowed at MIT’s Energy Night as PSFC graduate students demonstrated how fusion happens, and how MIT is working with a new superconducting technology to make It happen sooner at less cost.

PSFC

Juan Ruiz Ruiz: The Heat of the Matter

Ruiz is researching how to keep the plasma in a tokamak hot enough for fusion to take place. This is challenging because the hottest particles in the plasma, found in the core, leak towards the cooler areas at the edges, creating a plasma that will not be hot enough to sustain fusion. 

PSFC

MIT fusion collaboration receives renewed funding

As part of an initiative to support the development of nuclear fusion as a future practical energy source, the U. S Department of Energy is renewing 3-year funding for two PSFC projects on the Wendelstein7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany.

PSFC

Pushing the limit

Researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) have now demonstrated how microwaves can be used to overcome the barriers to steady state tokamak operation. In experiments performed on MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak, research scientist Seung Gyou Baek and his colleagues have studied a method of driving current to heat the plasma called Lower Hybrid Current Drive.

PSFC

Wright, Wukitch win Landau-Spitzer Award

The American Physical Society (APS) has recognized MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) principal research scientists John Wright and Stephen Wukitch for their collaboration with Yevgen Kazikov and Jef Ongena of the Laboratory for Plasma Physics, Brussels, Belgium, with the Landau-Spitzer Award.

PSFC

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

Cristina Rea: Taming fusion with machine learning

PSFC Postdoc Cristina Rea is developing a database to centralize information about disruptions in C-Mod, DIII-D and other tokamaks around the world. Through machine learning techniques to model and predict the progress of distruptions Rea hopes to find ways to mitigate the problem.

PSFC

Tom Fredian: Streamlining fusion data

Systems programmer and analyst Tom Fredian, who has worked at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) since 1982, credits a fork in his career road for leading to his deep interest in computers and software development.

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

Theresa Wilks: Fine-tuning fusion on DIII-D

Postdoc Theresa Wilks’s interest lies in the edge of the hot plasma closest to the tokamak’s chamber walls. Changes within these few centimeters, known as the ‘edge pedestal,’ can significantly affect the turbulence in the plasma, possibly leading to better control of the plasma and greater energy production.  

PSFC News

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

PSFC Research Scientist Robert Granetz

3 questions: Robert Granetz on fusion research

In a recent talk at the MIT Energy Initiative, PSFC Research Scientist Robert Granetz discussed how using machine learning to develop a real-time warning system for impending disruptions in fusion reactors is bringing us one step closer to creating a stable, net-energy-producing fusion device.

MITEI

Leigh Ann Kesler, MIT

VIDEO: Leigh Ann Kesler: Tracking erosion happening inside fusion devices

NSE PhD student, Leigh Ann Kesler who studies at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, dates her interest in fusion from an 11th-grade persuasive writing assignment. Inspired in part by her father’s interest in the potential of nuclear energy, she decided to investigate fusion.

Bridging the gap between simulation and reality

Creely is using data from the Alcator C-Mod tokamak to validate simulations of fusion plasmas that could provide researchers with confidence that their simulations will accurately predict what will happen in a working fusion deviceand influence the design of future machines.

PSFC

Kaylee de Soto: A game changer

Incoming freshman Kaylee de Soto arrived on campus in June to help the Plasma Science and Fusion Center explore explore options for the their education program’s popular, but dated, fusion video game.

PSFC

Leigh Ann Kesler: Scaling heights and measuring depths

PSFC graduate student Leigh Ann Kesler's main focus is erosion of materials inside fusion devices, in which strong magnetic fields keep the hot plasma fuel confined and away from the walls of the vacuum chamber where fusion reactions occur. 

PSFC

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

Julien Barber: Protecting magnets and the environment

Graduate student Julien Barber grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where average temperatures do not rise above freezing from November to March. It may not be surprising, then, that the he is currently keeping things cool at the PSFC, studying cryogenic methods of preventing superconducting magnets used in fusion research from overheating.

PSFC

Monica Pham: Advancing nuclear power, 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.”

NSE

Nathan Howard receives INCITE leadership computing award

A multi-institutional team consisting of Plasma Science and Fusion Center research scientist Nathan Howard, Chris Holland (University of California, San Diego) and Jeff Candy (General Atomics), has received a prestigious INCITE leadership computing award.

PSFC

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