Reaching for the stars


By John Greenwald

Fusion is the reaction that drives the sun and stars, generating massive amounts of energy. At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), scientists seek to replicate fusion on Earth with the goal of producing a virtually inexhaustible supply of power. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, PPPL will design and build permanent magnets that could provide a highly innovative basis for simplifying stellarators — the twisting technology used in experiments for producing fusion energy. “We hope this project will be the start of a program based on permanent magnets,” said PPPL physicist David Gates, who leads the team that developed the proposal.

Image courtesy of PPPL