DOE News
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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2018-06-04 13:05:51
    • Article ID: 695548

    Scientists From Around the World Come to New Jersey to Discuss How to Control Plasma-Surface Interactions for Fusion

    • Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Comminications

      Physicists Rajesh Maingi, left, and Charles Skinner.

    PRINCETON, New Jersey (June 6, 2018) – The 23rd International Conference on Plasma Surface Interactions in Controlled Fusion Devices – the preeminent biennial research conference in this field – begins on June 17 and continues for six days.

    More than 400 scientists from around the world will convene at Princeton University to discuss the state of research on how plasma-material interactions can be managed so fusion reactions – the same reactions that occur in the Sun and stars – can produce virtually unlimited energy on Earth in what could be called “a star in a jar.” The conference web site is: https://psi2018.princeton.edu/

    Organized this year by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a collaborative national center for fusion and plasma research operated by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the conference covers topics ranging from the dizzying complex conditions at the edge of fusion plasmas to the control of the intense heat flowing to the walls of fusion devices. Temperatures inside such devices are many times greater than the core of the sun. PPPL is the only one of 10 national laboratories in the DOE Office of Science dedicated to fusion research.

    PPPL physicists Rajesh Maingi is overall Conference Chair and Charles Skinner is Chair of the Local Organizing Committee; Egemen Kolemen, Princeton University assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering with an appointment at PPPL, is the Princeton Contact.

    Fusion, the power that drives the sun and stars, is the fusing of light elements in a plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and ions — to generate massive amounts of energy that can, it is hoped, be converted to electricity for the benefit of humankind. The hot plasma in the core of a fusion energy device must interact with its low-temperature material walls.

    “Taming the plasma-material interface has long been recognized as a key quest in the development of fusion energy. The seventh conference in this 46-year series was also held in Princeton in 1986, and notable progress has been made since then,” Skinner said. More than 400 research papers have been accepted for presentation at the 2018 conference, enough for all participants to find something of interest.

    The conference begins Monday, June 18, with an introductory talk by Robert Socolow, Princeton University professor emeritus of mechanical and aerospace engineering, on a thought-stretching and provocative question: “In a low-carbon future, where does fusion fit in?

    The conference includes tutorials led by worldwide experts on hot topics in the field, including how ITER (pronounced ‘EAT-er’), the major international fusion device under construction in France, will manage the intense heat and particles flowing to its walls. PPPL is an appropriate organizer of this conference, as it manages the nation’s spherical torus (ST) tokamak, or fusion energy device. Called the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade, the cored-apple-shaped device will be the most capable ST tokamak in the world. It has already yielded valuable research clues that help inform ITER and other next-generation fusion devices.

    Conference sponsors are the DOE, PPPL, Princeton University, MIT, and the University of California-San Diego.

    PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

    Contact:
    Larry Bernard
    (609) 243-2755 office
    (609) 480-1030 cel
    lbernard@pppl.gov

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    Missing gamma-ray blobs shed new light on dark matter, cosmic magnetism

    Scientists, including researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have compiled the most detailed catalog of such blobs using eight years of data collected with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. The blobs, including 19 gamma-ray sources that weren't known to be extended before, provide crucial information on how stars are born, how they die, and how galaxies spew out matter trillions of miles into space.

    Applying Auto Industry's Fuel-Efficiency Standards to Agriculture Could Net Billions in Corn Sector, Researchers Conclude

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    Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

    A paper published in Nature Communications by Sufei Shi, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer, increases our understanding of how light interacts with atomically thin semiconductors and creates unique excitonic complex particles, multiple electrons, and holes strongly bound together.

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    Intense Microwave Pulse Ionizes Its Own Channel Through Plasma

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    Reported October 8, 2018, in Nature Microbiology, a team led by U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute researchers developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi. The approach was tested on several uncultivated species representing early diverging fungi.

    Columbia Engineers Build Smallest Integrated Kerr Frequency Comb Generator

    Optical frequency combs can enable ultrafast processes in physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as improve communication and navigation, medical testing, and security. Columbia Engineers have built a Kerr frequency comb generator that, for the first time, integrates the laser with the microresonator, significantly shrinking the system's size and power requirements. They no longer need to connect separate devices using fiber--they can now integrate it all on compact and energy efficient photonic chips.

    Scientists Present New Clues to Cut Through the Mystery of Titan's Atmospheric Haze

    Experiments at Berkeley Lab helped scientists zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

    Consumers willing to pay more for sustainably brewed beer, study finds

    More and more breweries are investing in practices to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. Will it pay off? A study by Indiana University researchers suggests it may.


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    Prototype Solar Energy, Battery Systems to Fuel Commercialization

    Designing, building and testing prototype systems that show how renewable energy can power devices, such as a weather and soil sensor station, can help bridge the gap between basic science research and commercialization.

    "Invisible Glass" Wins 2018 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Prize

    Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials developed a technique for making nonreflecting glass, silicon, and plastic surfaces.

    Missouri S&T researchers win multimillion dollar grant to build fast-charging stations for electric cars

    Researchers from Missouri S&T and three private companies will combine their expertise to create charging stations for electric vehicles that could charge a car in less than 10 minutes - matching the time it takes to fill up a conventional vehicle with gasoline."The big problem with electric vehicles is range, and it's not so much range as range anxiety.

    Making batteries store more energy, last longer

    A new solid polymer electrolyte may help make cell phone batteries store more energy and last longer.

    Three Brookhaven Lab Scientists Named Fellows of American Physical Society

    The American Physical Society (APS), the world's largest physics organization, has elected three scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory as 2018 APS fellows.

    Southern Research first to win accreditation under ISO 14034

    Southern Research has become the first organization in the United States to earn accreditation under ISO 14034, a new international standard for evaluating and verifying environmental technologies that was recently adopted by the American National Standards Institute.

    Kawtar Hafidi to head Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate at Argonne

    Physicist Kawtar Hafidi has been appointed Associate Laboratory Director, Physical Sciences and Engineering at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

    Argonne researchers honored by Energy Secretary's awards program

    A select group of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory was recently recognized for their contributions to infrastructure security and nuclear nonproliferation at the Secretary's Honor Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on August 29.

    PPPL's Sam Cohen earns award at meeting of U.S. government-funded laboratories hosted by PPPL

    PPPL physicist Sam Cohen and a local company win a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for a rocket propulsion technology.

    ORNL researchers advance quantum computing, science through six DOE awards

    The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the recipient of six awards from DOE's Office of Science aimed at accelerating quantum information science (QIS), a burgeoning field of research increasingly seen as vital to scientific innovation and national security. The awards, which represent three Office of Science programs, were made in conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in QIS and will leverage and strengthen ORNL's established programs in quantum information processing and quantum computing.


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    How to Make Soot and Stardust

    Scientists unlock mystery that could help reduce emissions of fine particles from combustion engines and other sources.

    Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces

    Scientists improve our understanding of the relationship between fundamental forces by re-creating the earliest moments of the universe.

    Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals

    Water molecules line up tiny particles to attach and form minerals; understanding how this happens impacts energy extraction and storage along with waste disposal.

    Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow

    First direct measurement show how heavy particles containing a charm quark get caught up in the flow of early universe particle soup.

    Seeing Between the Atoms

    New detector enables electron microscope imaging at record-breaking resolution.

    Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene

    New method can make films of atomically thin carbon that are over a foot long.

    Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas

    U.S. and Korean scientists show how to find and use beneficial 3-D field perturbations to stabilize dangerous edge-localized modes in plasma.

    New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features

    A new approach to atom probe tomography promises more precise and accurate measurements vital to semiconductors used in computers, lasers, detectors, and more.

    Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars

    Scientists can now measure 3-D structures of tiny particles with properties that hold promise for advanced sensors and diagnostics.

    Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter

    Particle flow patterns suggest even small-scale collisions create drops of early universe quark-gluon plasma.


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