NEWS: Technology & engineering

First-of-its-kind report, "Enabling Commercial Fusion" published

A report authored by David Cohen-Tanugi, with contributions from PSFC researchers, was unveiled at the recent FusionXInvest conference hosted at MIT. The report contains nearly 30 opportunities for researchers, investors, and corporations to fill gaps in the burgeoning commercial fusion industry's supply chain.  

An large, flat, oval-shaped metal container with holes in the sides and a large magnet inside placed around a post.

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

In the predawn hours of Sept. 5, 2021, engineers achieved a major milestone in the labs of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), when a new type of magnet, made from high-temperature superconducting material, achieved a world-record magnetic field strength of 20 tesla for a large-scale magnet. That’s the intensity needed to build a fusion power plant that is expected to produce a net output of power and potentially usher in an era of virtually limitless power production.

MIT News

A mid-plane view of the SPARC tokamak

New study shows how universities are critical to emerging fusion industry

A paper by Dennis Whyte, Carlos Paz-Soldan of Columbia University, and Brian D. Wirth of the University of Tennessee Knoxville explores academia's role in the development of fusion energy. The authors cite additional fusion faculty, private industry collaborations, and creative licensing strategies as essential for enabling the sustainable growth of a commercial fusion industry.


Two female graduate students presenting plasma demos at a table

Engaging young women in plasma science

The PSFC journeyed to the Young Women's Conferemce at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory to inspire young women to consider science as a field of study and a career.


Evan Leppink, MIT

Evan Leppink: Choosing sides

Graduate student Evan Leppink will explore a new way to drive current in a tokamak plasma using radiofrequency (RF) waves during his residency at DIII-D in San Diego, CA.


Diagram of SPARC tokamak

Turning neutrons into fusion fuel

“One of the things that you get good at while at MIT,” says PSFC research scientist Sara Ferry, “is being able to start from nothing on a particular system or skill and knowing how to approach it in a way that’s effective.”


Photo of John Rice on courtyard bench

John Rice on Plasma Rotation

John Rice's new book "Driven Rotation, Self-Generated Flow, and Momentum Transport" consolidates an understanding of the topic gained from years of experience at MIT.


Tuning in to invisible waves on the JET tokamak

In England for the last two years, research scientist Alex Tinguely has been overseeing a special antenna used on the UK’s record-breaking fusion experiment.


Magnet Man

After overseeing three years of research and development, Brian LaBombard is ready to test a toroidal field model coil (TFMC), a prototype for those that will be used in the new fusion experiment, SPARC.


Amy Watterson illuminated by the glow of her computer screen

Model engineer

Since joining the SPARC project, Mechanical Engineer Amy Watterson has honed her modeling skills to prepare fusion magnets for a crucial test.


Diagram of ARCH concept

On course to create a fusion power plant

Since taking on course 22.63 (Principles of Fusion Engineering) over a decade ago Prof. Dennis Whyte has moved away from standard lectures, prodding the class to work collectively on  “real world” issues. The course has been instrumental in guiding the real future of fusion at the PSFC.


Portrait of Richard Ibekwe

Understanding imperfections in fusion magnets

MIT Energy Fellow Richard Ibekwe is attracted to the challenges of fusion research."There are few problems as hard to solve or that might have as profound a potential positive impact on our planet and the whole of humanity,” he says.


David Fischer, MIT

Pushing the envelope with fusion magnets

Postdoctoral associate David Fischer's research focuses on observing ways irradiation damages the thin high-temperature superconductor tapes in the design of ARC, a fusion pilot plant concept.


Jagadeesh Moodera, MIT

Exploring new paths to future quantum electronics

“Investigating the complex interface behavior when two quantum systems are coupled is a treasure island to be explored for new discoveries and for advancing the field,” says PSFC senior research scientist Jagadeesh Moodera.