NEWS: Plasma 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 MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), along 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 researchers honored with John Dawson Award

Division Head Richard Petrasso, Senior Research Scientist Chikang Li, and Research Scientist Fredrick Seguin were selected, along with three colleagues from other laboratories, 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.”


Probing the magnetic universe

Loureiro marvels at how pervasive magnetic fields are, evident not only in planets and the interplanetary medium, but beyond the heliosphere to the interstellar, galactic, intergalactic and intercluster media. But how were these fields generated, and how did they come to have the structure and magnitude they have today?


Sasha Soane wins IVEC best student paper award

“The best thing I learned in grad school is not necessarily how to amplify 140 GHz; it’s really the ability to go back and challenge the fundamental axioms behind your entire design approach.” - PhD Candidate Sasha Soane


Connecting with kids at AAAS

On President’s Day weekend the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was celebrating science, with the help of national and local laboratories and programs, including the PSFC.  Over 5000 people toured some 33 exhibits during AAAS Family Science Days.


NNSA visits HEDP Lab

NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton and Dr. Njema Frazier, physicist in the NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs, visited the MIT to meet with the High Energy Density and Inertial Confinement Fusion Physics Division of the PSFC. 


Nuno Loureiro: In search of a more perfect fusion reactor

What drew Loureiro to plasma physics, he says, was energy. “If one is not naïve about today’s world and today’s society, one has to understand that there is an energy problem. And if you’re a physicist, you have the tools to try and do something about it.”

MITEI Energy Futures

Crab Nebula

Chikang Li brings the Crab Nebula to the lab

“How do you design an experiment on Earth to explain mysteries that are happening 6500 light years away, and stretching over thirteen light years of space?” PSFC senior research scientist Chikang Li shows how to experiment on the crab nebula in the lab.


Magnet races and neon sword

PSFC scientists, graduate students and staff recently returned from the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society – Division of Plasma Physics, held this year in San Jose, CA.


High intensity fusion

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod nuclear reactor winds down — and defines its legacy on its final run.

School of Engineering

Alex Creely, MIT

Alex Creely wins prestigious NDSEG Fellowship

NSE graduate student Alexander Creely has been awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. This highly competitive, portable fellowship is awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Postdoctoral Associate Ted Golfinopoulos demonstrates properties of magnetism.

PSFC fusion outreach ignites in Spring

Students and staff members at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) have completed their third outreach event in as many weeks: the USA Science and Engineering Festival, MIT 2016 Open House and PSFC Middle School Outreach Day.


cross-section of a plasma

Multi-Scale Simulations Solve a Plasma Turbulence Mystery

Researchers at MIT’s PSFC, in collaboration with colleagues at UCSD and General Atomics, have performed high-resolution multi-scale simulations to simultaneously resolve multiple turbulence instabilities that have previously been treated in separate simulations.