Virtual Pressroom

Virtual Pressroom 2012

54th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

October 29 - November 2, 2012 | Providence, Rhode Island

2012 Plasma Physics Research

Major achievements in plasma research this year included:

  • 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 2012 APS DPP Annual Meeting. Highlighted below are some of the particularly newsworthy presentations.

Cooling Fusion in a Flash
For a brief instant, hot fusion plasma becomes a giant fluorescent lamp, converting heat into light. 

Elements Duke It Out to Penetrate Hot Plasma
Scientists get a better understanding of why some atoms get into the core of their magnetic fusion experiments more easily than do others. 

Frozen Bullets Tame Unruly Edge Plasmas in Fusion Experiment
Technique triggers more frequent, but less powerful, plasma eruptions to reduce a potential source of damage to reactor vessel walls. 

Fusion Plasma Works Best Just Where You Least Expect It
Scientists measure a surprising increase in fusion plasma stability at high performance. 

Halo-Current Effects in Tokamak Reactors: Hardly Heavenly
Physicists at Princeton plasma physics laboratory decipher the shape and movement of reactorsqueezing ropes of current. 

Here Comes the Sun: How Solar Flares Happen Faster than Forecast
Simulations show that magnetic reconnection can take place in dense plasmas more quickly than the conventional wisdom holds. 

Measuring Tiny Waves with High Power Particle Beams
Experiments explore difficult-to-measure wave-particle interactions within plasma, with implications for future plasma performance. 

Placing Fusion Power on a Pedestal
A team of U.S. scientists produce predictions to enhance the performance of future fusion devices, based on the physics of the plasma boundary. 

Plasma Blobs and Filaments: Fusion Scientists Discover Secrets of Turbulent Edge Transport
Researchers use experimental data and simulations to better understand the behavior of fusion plasmas. 

Scientists Find a Shortcut to Map Conditions for Sustainable Fusion
Results derived from a new computer code are the first to map the full range of conditions required to reliably and safely sustain fusion reactions by alpha particle heating, and could facilitate the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy. 

Shedding Light on the Explosive Process behind Space Plasmas and Solar Flares
Experiments show the impact of a key magnetic-field component on the speed of magnetic reconnection?the process that triggers solar outbursts. 

Simulation Model Heads EAST
Research team takes high-efficiency computational approach to simulate short, intense plasma bursts on next-generation tokamak reactors. 

The Scorpion’s Strategy: “Catch and Subdue”
Scientists develop new technique to remove magnetic islands that drain power from plasma in the DIII-D tokamak fusion reactor. 

What a Cup of Coffee Tells Scientists about Solar Storms
A new theory asserts that a key astrophysical process parallels what happens at the breakfast table. 

“Mug Handles” Help Get a Grip on Lower-Cost, Controllable Fusion Energy
A novel containment method requires less energy to maintain stable plasma confinement. 

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