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.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Artificial intelligence speeds forecasts to control fusion experiments

Newswise — Machine learning, a technique used in the artificial intelligence (AI) software behind self-driving cars and digital assistants, now enables scientists to address key challenges to harvesting on Earth the fusion energy(link is external) that powers the sun and stars. The technique recently empowered physicist Dan Boyer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to develop fast and accurate predictions for advancing control of experiments in the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) — the flagship fusion facility at PPPL that is currently under repair. 

Such AI predictions could improve the ability of NSTX-U scientists to optimize the components of experiments that heat and shape the magnetically confined plasma(link is external) that fuels fusion experiments. By optimizing the heating and shaping of the plasma scientists will be able to more effectively study key aspects of the development of burning plasmas — largely self-heating fusion reactions — that will be critical for ITER, the international experiment under construction in France, and future fusion reactors.

Machine learning tactics

“This is a step toward what we should do to optimize the actuators,” said Boyer, author of a paper(link is external) in Nuclear Fusion that describes the machine learning tactics. “Machine learning can turn historical data into a simple model that we can evaluate quickly enough to make decisions in the control room or even in real-time during an experiment.”

Fusion reactions combine light elements in the form of plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — to generate massive amounts of energy. Reproducing fusion energy on Earth would create a virtually inexhaustible supply of safe and clean power to generate electricity.

Boyer and coauthor Jason Chadwick, an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program participant at PPPL last summer, tested machine learning forecasts using 10 years of data for NSTX, the forerunner of NSTX-U, and the 10 weeks of operation of NSTX-U. The two spherical tokamaks are shaped more like cored apples than the doughnut-like shape of bulkier and more widely used conventional tokamaks, and they create cost-effective magnetic fields that confine the plasma.

The machine learning tests correctly predicted the distribution of pressure and density of the electrons in fusion plasmas, two critical but difficult-to-forecast parameters. “The electron pressure and density distribution within the plasma are key to understanding the behavior of fusion plasmas,” Boyer said. “We need models of these factors to predict the impact of changing heating and shaping on the performance and stability of experiments.”

“While physics-based models for predicting electron pressure and density exist,” he said, “they are not appropriate for real-time decision making. They take way too long to calculate and are not as accurate as we need them to be.”

Addresses both issues

The machine learning model addresses both issues. “It has learned to make predictions from thousands of observed profiles in the PPPL tokamaks and has made associations between combinations of inputs and outputs of actual data,” Boyer said. Once trained, the model takes less than one thousandth of a second to evaluate.  The speed of the resulting model could make it useful for many real-time applications, he said.

The approach is not without limitations. “Since the model is trained on historically observed data, it cannot make predictions about new operating points with high accuracy,” Boyer said. He plans to address this limitation by adding the results of physics-based model predictions to the training data and developing techniques of adapting the model as new data becomes available.

Boyer has won a highly competitive DOE five-year Early Career Research Program Award that will enable him and colleagues to further accelerate the optimization of key components of fusion experiments. To read about the award click here.

Support for this work comes from the DOE Office of Science (FES). Support for Jason Chadwick comes from the DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program.

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 single largest 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, visit energy.gov/science(link is external).

X
X
X


Filters close
Newswise: 1_d6670919-hr.jpg
Released: 28-Jul-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Automatically Steering Experiments Toward Scientific Discovery
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have been developing an automated experimental setup of data collection, analysis, and decision making.

Released: 28-Jul-2021 1:45 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $7.7 Million for Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $7.7 million in funding for 11 studies to improve understanding of Earth system predictability and DOE’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), a state-of-the-science climate model.

Newswise: SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
Released: 28-Jul-2021 10:55 AM EDT
SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The agreement, announced today, will make it easier for researchers to change their names and claim work from all stages of their careers. It specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting such name changes.

Newswise: EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Released: 27-Jul-2021 4:35 PM EDT
EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

The Electron-Ion Collider Center at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (EIC Center at Jefferson Lab) has announced the winners of six international fellowships to help advance the science program of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).

Newswise: How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Released: 27-Jul-2021 3:30 PM EDT
How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Argonne National Laboratory

Research at Argonne National Laboratory is helping to illuminate how energy costs vary throughout the United States.

Released: 27-Jul-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $9.35 Million for Research on High Energy Density Plasmas
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced $9.35 million for 21 research projects in High-Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP).

Newswise: Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Released: 27-Jul-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed and tested an innovative optical system to precisely measure and control the position and pointing angle of high-power laser beams with unprecedented accuracy – without interrupting or disturbing the beams. The new system will help users throughout the sciences get the most out of high-power lasers.

Newswise: Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 27-Jul-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supported by his Early Career Research Program Award, University of Wisconsin – Madison professor Michael S. Arnold found new ways to make graphene nanostructures with smooth edges. This technology will enable next-generation energy and electronics applications.

View More
Newswise: 1_d6670919-hr.jpg
Released: 28-Jul-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Automatically Steering Experiments Toward Scientific Discovery
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have been developing an automated experimental setup of data collection, analysis, and decision making.

Released: 28-Jul-2021 1:45 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $7.7 Million for Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $7.7 million in funding for 11 studies to improve understanding of Earth system predictability and DOE’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), a state-of-the-science climate model.

Newswise: SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
Released: 28-Jul-2021 10:55 AM EDT
SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The agreement, announced today, will make it easier for researchers to change their names and claim work from all stages of their careers. It specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting such name changes.

Newswise: EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Released: 27-Jul-2021 4:35 PM EDT
EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

The Electron-Ion Collider Center at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (EIC Center at Jefferson Lab) has announced the winners of six international fellowships to help advance the science program of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).

Newswise: How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Released: 27-Jul-2021 3:30 PM EDT
How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Argonne National Laboratory

Research at Argonne National Laboratory is helping to illuminate how energy costs vary throughout the United States.

Released: 27-Jul-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $9.35 Million for Research on High Energy Density Plasmas
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced $9.35 million for 21 research projects in High-Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP).

Newswise: Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Released: 27-Jul-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed and tested an innovative optical system to precisely measure and control the position and pointing angle of high-power laser beams with unprecedented accuracy – without interrupting or disturbing the beams. The new system will help users throughout the sciences get the most out of high-power lasers.

Newswise: Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 27-Jul-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supported by his Early Career Research Program Award, University of Wisconsin – Madison professor Michael S. Arnold found new ways to make graphene nanostructures with smooth edges. This technology will enable next-generation energy and electronics applications.

View More
Newswise: 1_d6670919-hr.jpg
Released: 28-Jul-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Automatically Steering Experiments Toward Scientific Discovery
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have been developing an automated experimental setup of data collection, analysis, and decision making.

Released: 28-Jul-2021 1:45 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $7.7 Million for Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $7.7 million in funding for 11 studies to improve understanding of Earth system predictability and DOE’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), a state-of-the-science climate model.

Newswise: SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
Released: 28-Jul-2021 10:55 AM EDT
SLAC Partners with National Labs and Scientific Publishing Organizations on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The agreement, announced today, will make it easier for researchers to change their names and claim work from all stages of their careers. It specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting such name changes.

Newswise: EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Released: 27-Jul-2021 4:35 PM EDT
EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Research Awards
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

The Electron-Ion Collider Center at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (EIC Center at Jefferson Lab) has announced the winners of six international fellowships to help advance the science program of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).

Newswise: How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Released: 27-Jul-2021 3:30 PM EDT
How Argonne Research Is Illuminating How Energy Costs Vary Nationwide
Argonne National Laboratory

Research at Argonne National Laboratory is helping to illuminate how energy costs vary throughout the United States.

Released: 27-Jul-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $9.35 Million for Research on High Energy Density Plasmas
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced $9.35 million for 21 research projects in High-Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP).

Newswise: Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Released: 27-Jul-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Berkeley Lab Optical Innovation Could Calm the Jitters of High-Power Lasers
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed and tested an innovative optical system to precisely measure and control the position and pointing angle of high-power laser beams with unprecedented accuracy – without interrupting or disturbing the beams. The new system will help users throughout the sciences get the most out of high-power lasers.

Newswise: Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Released: 27-Jul-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Michael S. Arnold: Then and Now / 2011 Early Career Award Winner
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Supported by his Early Career Research Program Award, University of Wisconsin – Madison professor Michael S. Arnold found new ways to make graphene nanostructures with smooth edges. This technology will enable next-generation energy and electronics applications.

View More

Spotlight

ORNL partners on science kits for STEM schools
Mon, 17 May 2021 17:05:21 EST

ORNL partners on science kits for STEM schools

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Graduate students gather virtually for summer school at PPPL
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 15:45:57 EST

Graduate students gather virtually for summer school at PPPL

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 15:35:30 EST

Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:05:12 EST

Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Summer Students Tackle COVID-19
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:35:39 EST

Summer Students Tackle COVID-19

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 16:25:17 EST

Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL
Tue, 24 Sep 2019 15:05:51 EST

Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Argonne organization’s scholarship fund blazes STEM pathway
Tue, 17 Sep 2019 16:05:11 EST

Argonne organization’s scholarship fund blazes STEM pathway

Argonne National Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab, Suffolk Girl Scouts Launch Patch Program
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 10:30:34 EST

Brookhaven Lab, Suffolk Girl Scouts Launch Patch Program

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 09:00:26 EST

Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns

Brookhaven National Laboratory

PPPL apprenticeship program offers young people chance to earn while they learn high-tech careers
Thu, 01 Aug 2019 11:05:23 EST

PPPL apprenticeship program offers young people chance to earn while they learn high-tech careers

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Creating a diverse pipeline
Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:05:33 EST

Creating a diverse pipeline

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab
Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:00:16 EST

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

ILSAMP Symposium showcases benefits for diverse students, STEM pipeline
Mon, 20 May 2019 11:05:42 EST

ILSAMP Symposium showcases benefits for diverse students, STEM pipeline

Argonne National Laboratory

Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula
Mon, 13 May 2019 10:05:46 EST

Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE’s 29th National Science Bowl®
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:05:21 EST

Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE’s 29th National Science Bowl®

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Young Women’s Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time
Thu, 28 Mar 2019 14:05:07 EST

Young Women’s Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Students team with Argonne scientists and engineers to learn about STEM careers
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 16:05:09 EST

Students team with Argonne scientists and engineers to learn about STEM careers

Argonne National Laboratory

Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:05:35 EST

Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Equipping the next generation for a technological revolution
Thu, 24 Jan 2019 13:05:29 EST

Equipping the next generation for a technological revolution

Argonne National Laboratory

Chemistry intern inspired by Argonne’s real-world science
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:05:40 EST

Chemistry intern inspired by Argonne’s real-world science

Argonne National Laboratory

Chasing a supernova
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 16:05:20 EST

Chasing a supernova

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne intern streamlines the beamline
Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:05:01 EST

Argonne intern streamlines the beamline

Argonne National Laboratory

Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices
Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:00:00 EST

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

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Innovating Our Energy Future
Wed, 03 Oct 2018 18:05:41 EST

Innovating Our Energy Future

Oregon State University, College of Engineering

Physics graduate student takes her thesis research to a Department of Energy national lab
Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:05:36 EST

Physics graduate student takes her thesis research to a Department of Energy national lab

University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Model” students enjoy Argonne campus life
Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:05:48 EST

“Model” students enjoy Argonne campus life

Argonne National Laboratory

Writing Code for a More Skilled and Diverse STEM Workforce
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 12:05:58 EST

Writing Code for a More Skilled and Diverse STEM Workforce

Brookhaven National Laboratory

New graduate student summer school launches at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:30:12 EST

New graduate student summer school launches at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The Gridlock State
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:05:07 EST

The Gridlock State

California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Meet Jasmine Hatcher and Trishelle Copeland-Johnson
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 13:05:55 EST

Meet Jasmine Hatcher and Trishelle Copeland-Johnson

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Argonne hosts Modeling, Experimentation and Validation Summer School
Fri, 24 Aug 2018 10:05:27 EST

Argonne hosts Modeling, Experimentation and Validation Summer School

Argonne National Laboratory

Students affected by Hurricane Maria bring their research to SLAC
Wed, 22 Aug 2018 12:05:42 EST

Students affected by Hurricane Maria bring their research to SLAC

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab Pays Tribute to 2018 Summer Interns
Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:05:24 EST

Brookhaven Lab Pays Tribute to 2018 Summer Interns

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Changing How Buildings Are Made
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:05:19 EST

Changing How Buildings Are Made

Washington University in St. Louis

CSUMB Selected to Host Architecture at Zero Competition in 2019
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 11:05:02 EST

CSUMB Selected to Host Architecture at Zero Competition in 2019

California State University, Monterey Bay

Department of Energy Invests $64 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technology
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:00:00 EST

Department of Energy Invests $64 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Professor Miao Yu Named the Priti and Mukesh Chatter ’82 Career Development Professor
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:00:00 EST

Professor Miao Yu Named the Priti and Mukesh Chatter ’82 Career Development Professor

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

2018 RHIC & AGS Annual Users' Meeting: 'Illuminating the QCD Landscape'
Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:05:10 EST

2018 RHIC & AGS Annual Users' Meeting: 'Illuminating the QCD Landscape'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Argonne welcomes <em>The Martian</em> author Andy Weir
Fri, 29 Jun 2018 17:05:17 EST

Argonne welcomes The Martian author Andy Weir

Argonne National Laboratory

Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:55:34 EST

Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Professor Emily Liu Receives $1.8 Million DoE Award for Solar Power Systems Research
Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:00:41 EST

Professor Emily Liu Receives $1.8 Million DoE Award for Solar Power Systems Research

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Celebrating 40 years of empowerment in science
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:05:50 EST

Celebrating 40 years of empowerment in science

Argonne National Laboratory

Introducing Graduate Students Across the Globe to Photon Science
Mon, 07 May 2018 09:30:10 EST

Introducing Graduate Students Across the Globe to Photon Science

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Students from Massachusetts and Washington Win DOE’s 28th National Science Bowl®
Wed, 02 May 2018 15:05:21 EST

Students from Massachusetts and Washington Win DOE’s 28th National Science Bowl®

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Showing results

0-6 Of 50
close
2.45545