An explanation for the mysterious onset of a universal process (Physics of Plasmas)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Communications Scientists have proposed a groundbreaking solution to a mystery that has puzzled physicists for decades. At issue is how magnetic reconnection, a universal process that sets off solar flares, northern lights and cosmic gamma-ray bursts, occurs so much faster than theory says should be possible. The answer, … Continue reading An explanation for the mysterious onset of a universal process (Physics of Plasmas)

Major next steps proposed for fusion energy based on the spherical tokamak design (Nuclear Fusion)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Among the top puzzles in the development of fusion energy is the best shape for the magnetic facility — or “bottle” — that will provide the next steps in the development of fusion reactors. Leading candidates include spherical tokamaks, compact machines that are shaped like cored apples, compared … Continue reading Major next steps proposed for fusion energy based on the spherical tokamak design (Nuclear Fusion)

PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics (Phys. Rev. A)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Communications Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars — collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky.  Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma … Continue reading PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics (Phys. Rev. A)

Compressing turbulence to improve inertial confinement fusion experiments (PRL)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Physicists have long regarded plasma turbulence as unruly behavior that can limit the performance of fusion experiments. But new findings by researchers associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University indicate that turbulent swirls … Continue reading Compressing turbulence to improve inertial confinement fusion experiments (PRL)