NEWS: Plasma science

Nuno Loureiro, MIT

Nuno Loureiro: Probing the world of plasmas

As a boy in Portugal, Nuno Loureiro(opens in new window)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(opens in new window), 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

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?

PSFC

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

PSFC

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.

PSFC

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. 

NNSA Blog

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.

PSFC

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.

PSFC

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

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