NEWS: Plasma turbulence

Lucio Milanese, MIT

Turbulence yields to topology

NSE PhD candidate Lucio Milanese expands a theory of turbulence to include both ionized and non-ionized fluids.


Portrait of Rachel Bielajew

Helping make fusion a reality

Fusion has great potential as a carbon-free energy source but plasma turbulence presents a problem. Rachel Bielajew is taking on that challenge and helping make a better world—through science and community action.


Illustration of reverse d-shaped plasma inside tokamak

Alessandro Marinoni: Returning to fusion’s D-turn

Alessandro Marinoni has continued to examine an innovative plasma shape, dubbed “negative triangularity,” extending previous research to configurations more compatible with the plasma environment of a reactor. 


How to grow a cosmic magnetic field

“Tiny magnetic fields, through interaction with plasmas, can potentially increase their coherence length by many orders of magnitude to become the enormous astronomical-scale magnetic fields observed in the universe,” says graduate student Muni Zhou.



Meet our 2020 graduates

Norman Cao, Daniel Korsun, Adam Kuang, and Pyae Phyo graduate on May 29 in MIT's virtual commencement.


Pyae Phyo: From Myanmar to NMR

PhD candidate’s journey to the center of the plant cell wall relies on nuclear magnetic resonance technology.


Nathan Howard wins Nuclear Fusion Award

Nathan Howard, research scientist at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, has won the 2019 Nuclear Fusion Award for a paper that explains heat losses due to turbulence in the core of magnetically confined fusion plasmas.


Heating by Cooling

As a graduate student Pablo Rodriguez-Fernandez (PhD’19) became intrigued by a fusion research mystery that had remained unsolved for 20 years. His novel observations and subsequent modeling helped provide the answer, earning him the 2019 Del Favero Thesis Prize.


Francesco Sciortino, MIT

Francesco Sciortino: Organizing the scientific life

Physics grad student Francesco Sciortino is exploring turbulence in fusion plasmas and is engaged in creating opportunities for colleagues, students, and the general public to learn about the benefits of fusion research to a world that will be demanding more and more sources of reliable energy.


Nuno Loureiro, MIT

Nuno Loureiro: Probing the world of plasmas

As a boy in Portugal, Nuno Loureiro wanted to be a scientist, even when “everyone else wanted to be a policeman or a fireman.” He’s now focused on the physics of plasma, with applications in both astrophysics and clean energy.

MIT News

Juan Ruiz Ruiz: The Heat of the Matter

Ruiz is researching how to keep the plasma in a tokamak hot enough for fusion to take place. This is challenging because the hottest particles in the plasma, found in the core, leak towards the cooler areas at the edges, creating a plasma that will not be hot enough to sustain fusion. 


MIT fusion collaboration receives renewed funding

As part of an initiative to support the development of nuclear fusion as a future practical energy source, the U. S Department of Energy is renewing 3-year funding for two PSFC projects on the Wendelstein7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany.


Pushing the limit

Researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) have now demonstrated how microwaves can be used to overcome the barriers to steady state tokamak operation. In experiments performed on MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak, research scientist Seung Gyou Baek and his colleagues have studied a method of driving current to heat the plasma called Lower Hybrid Current Drive.


Alex Creely receives Itoh Project Prize

NSE graduate student Alex Creely has received the Kyushu University Itoh Project Prize for his poster “Cross-Machine Validation of TGLF and GENE on Alcator C-Mod and ASDEX Upgrade.” The prize recognizes excellence in doctoral student plasma physics research.