Virtual Pressroom

Virtual Pressroom 2011

53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

November 14-18, 2011 | Salt Lake City, Utah

2011 Plasma Physics Research

Major achievements in plasma research this year include:

  • New results from magnetically confined fusion experiments provide key answers for ITER

  • Plasma traps enable new wave of table-top antimatter research

  • Experiments and computer simulations are unraveling the physics of 3D magnetic fields in space and laboratory plasmas

  • Laser fusion experiments push cryogenic targets into new regimes as part of the National Ignition Campaign

Highlighted Plasma Physics Papers

Over 1800 papers covering the latest advances in plasma-based research and technology were presented at the 2011 APS DPP Annual Meeting. Highlighted below are some of the particularly newsworthy presentations.

All press releases are in PDF format.

A 3-D Way to Release Magnetic Energy…Fast!
Experiments discover a 3-D process by which magnetic reconnection can release energy faster than expected by classical theories.

A New Spin on Understanding Plasma Confinement
Spinning plasma creates “wind shear” between magnetic field structures, improving tokamak fusion performance. 

American Physical Society Invites Salt Lake City to Discover Plasma
Free science events help students, teachers and the public learn more about plasma, the fourth state of matter.

Catching Tokamak Fastballs: Controlling Runaway Electrons
Scientists are developing improved methods to control and dissipate powerful electron beams that could damage reactor walls. 

Feeling the Heat: 30 Tons of Fine Control for Fusion Plasmas
Scientists add motion control to a major tokamak heating system to explore nonlinear interactions between internal current and pressure profiles. 

I-Mode Powers Up on Alcator C-Mod Tokamak
A new, improved plasma confinement regime delivers improved performance over a wider power range. 

Plasma Etching Pushes the Limits of a Shrinking World
Plasma etching, essential for semiconductor device fabrication in the nanoelectronics age, confronts the fundamental limits of physics and chemistry. 

Radar Gun Catches Predator Shredding Turbulence in Fusion Plasma
Plasma turbulence and plasma flow self-organize in a predator-prey pattern, producing higher temperature plasmas. 

Tokamak Experiments Come Clean about Impurity Transport
Innovative experiments and computer simulations at MIT explore the movement of impurities in fusion plasmas. 

Under Pressure: Ramp-Compression Smashes Record
National Ignition Facility experiment achieves record pressure of 50 megabars.

Video Simulation Puts a New Twist on Fusion Plasma Research
Scientist creates video simulation that combines laboratory measurements and computer models to aid research into fusion reactor designs. 

With Lithium, More is Definitely Better
Increasing the amount of lithium coating on fusion reactor walls improves performance.

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Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics (DPP)