NEWS: Magnetic fusion energy

Brandon Sorbom, CFS

Brandon Sorbom: Tech Review 35InnovatorsUnder35

By developing an electromagnetic system using high-temperature superconductors to insulate part of the fusion process, Sorbom’s breakthrough could make fusion power plant designs dramatically cheaper to build.

MIT Technology Review

tokamak plasma configurations, MIT

Steering Fusion’s “D-turn”

PSFC research scientist Alessandro Marinoni researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have discovered promising evidence that reversing the conventional shape of the plasma in the tokamak chamber can create a more stable environment for fusion to occur, even under high pressure.

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

Dennis Whyte, Vinod Khosla, MIT

Vinod Khosla: “Focus on the consequences of success”

On March 6, Khosla described his thoughts on entrepreneurship, personal development, and how to tackle the world’s most challenging problems. Khosla stressed the importance of taking chances, trying new things, and being unafraid of failure. 

MIT News

Looking Forward to Fusion

Fusion power has been a tantalizing prospect for decades, promising a source of endless carbon-free energy for the world. MIT’s PSFC, in collaboration MIT alumni-led company CFS, is poised to use materials breakthroughs to build the first fusion device that generates more energy than it consumes, bringing commercial fusion energy within practical reach in the near future.

Spectrum

Tapping the MIT talent pool for the future of fusion

MIT graduate student Caroline Sorensen is using her talent for mechanical engineering to help advance a novel project within the domain of applied science: the commercialization of fusion energy.

School of Engineering

Kevin Woller: From student to mentor

“Once you start learning about plasma it points you towards fusion," says research scientist Kevin Woller, recalling his introduction to ion accelerators.

PSFC

Fusion power plant graphic, MIT

On the right path to fusion energy

New National Academies study recommends a pilot fusion energy program that aligns with MIT's fusion approach and SPARC project.

PSFC

Francesco Sciortino, MIT

Francesco Sciortino: Organizing the scientific life

Physics grad student Francesco Sciortino is exploring turbulence in fusion plasmas and is engaged in creating opportunities for colleagues, students, and the general public to learn about the benefits of fusion research to a world that will be demanding more and more sources of reliable energy.

PSFC

Dennis Whyte, MIT

Dennis Whyte receives FPA Leadership Award

The Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors has awarded its 2018 Leadership Award to Prof. Dennis Whyte, Director of MIT’s PSFC and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.

PSFC

From Fusion to Foxtrot

Grad student Alex Creely is studying ways of reducing simulation times in fusion experiments, using data from tokamaks at the PSFC and Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. To take a break from plasma science Creely dances competitively with the MIT Ballroom Dance Team. 

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

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

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