MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) is known internationally as a leading university research center for the study of plasma and fusion science and technology with research activities in four interrelated areas.
PSFC researchers study the use of strong magnetic fields to confine plasma at the high temperatures and pressures required for practical fusion energy. This research is conducted using on-site experimental facilities, theory and simulation, and collaboration with researchers at other facilities. PSFC scientists, students, and engineers perform experiments and develop technologies to confine and heat the plasma and to manage the interactions between the plasma and the reactor materials. MORE
Plasma, the most common state of matter in the universe, exhibits complex and rich physics phenomenon, including waves, turbulence, and interactions with materials. Studying plasmas is critical to advance technology development for practical purposes as developing functional fusion reactors and to understand the processes in stars, planets, and inter-stellar space. PSFC scientists and students advance plasma physics using cutting-edge facilities and large-scale computation with an aim of obtaining comprehensive predictive understanding of plasmas in a variety of situations. MORE
The study of plasmas, fusion, and magnetic resonance requires a core set of technology and engineering tools. Additionally, the understanding of plasmas can be used to develop new technologies with far-reaching applications. High-field magnets, high-power radio frequency sources, sensitive detectors, and various particle accelerators are used throughout the PSFC while technologies to clean the atmosphere, process garbage and drill through rock have matured from PSFC research. MORE
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool to probe the structure of compounds important for biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, and energy. The techniques rely upon on high-field magnets and microwaves of various frequencies to probe the magnetic fields at the nucleus, revealing the details of the configuration of the sample. The PSFC and Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory are world leaders in the development and use of this technique, contributing to knowledge a variety of fields. MORE