Basic Plasma Experiments with Pulsed Power

Pulsed-power generators can drive intense pulses of electrical current through initially solid targets, creating hot, dense plasmas, threaded with strong magnetic fields and travelling at high velocities. Pulsed-power is used to drive a diverse range of plasma physics experiments, from producing x-rays for inertial confinement fusion, to recreating the conditions inside extreme astrophysical phenomena. At the PSFC, we are building a new pulsed-power facility called PUFFIN, which will study fundamental processes in magnetized high-energy-density plasmas. PUFFIN is designed to produce longer pulses of current than existing facilities, allowing the plasmas it produces to be sustained and reach a quasi-steady-state.

Through collaboration with other pulsed-power facilities across the US and internationally, we carry out cutting edge research into processes such as:

  • Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • High-energy-density laboratory astrophysics
  • Transport in magnetized, collisional plasmas

Our group works closely with Dr. Petrasso's HED physics group, and Prof. Loureiro's Plasma Theory group.

Group Website

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Prof. Jack Hare, jdhare@mit.edu