Profiles in Diagnostics: A Hot Pursuit to Understand ICE

Kathreen Thome studies how particles travel through fusion plasmas using high frequency magnetic fluctuations known as ion cyclotron emission (ICE). The tokamak approach to magnetic confinement fusion uses a toroidal solenoid to confine high temperature plasmas. With peak plasma temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius, no physical measurements are possible beyond the very edge of…

Making Our Fusion Reactor Better

Update, November 9, 2018: the video above highlights some of the upgrade projects. This video was shot at about the halfway point of the 11-month schedule for all engineering upgrades.   Our lab, the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, has ended its experimental campaign and entered into a nearly one year period of upgrade construction. This…

Diary of a Graduate Thesis Experiment

The lengthy diary that follows was originally written in 2007. Diary of a Graduate Thesis Experiment The laboratory in which I am performing my thesis work (LAPD at UCLA) is used by researchers from all over the world. Groups that are using the device for a research project receive an allotted time in which to…

Controlled Streams from Mean Beams

The 58th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP) is underway and I made it into my first press release! The conference sets up a Virtual Pressroom to distribute press releases about some of the really cool results that will be presented during the conference. For example, you can read…

New Plasma Pressure Record Set by Alcator C-Mod

Exciting news came from the area of nuclear fusion energy this past week as the team from the Alcator C-Mod tokamak announced their new world record for plasma pressure. Before getting to that, please note that you can interact with the C-Mod Team during their Ask Me Anything session hosted by Reddit on Thursday, October…

25 Years of Undergraduate Research at General Atomics

General Atomics (GA) just completed its 25th year of participation in undergraduate summer research according to a press release from General Atomics that was picked up by Engineering.com. The specific programs have changed over the years, with the present program being the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) that sees undergraduates spend ten summer weeks working on research…

SULI Student Highlighted by DOE

I serve as a mentor in the undergraduate research program at DIII-D and one of my students from 2015 was shown as a highlight by the Department of Energy (DOE)! The highlight is from a DOE presentation dated February 19, 2016, but I only recently found it. The presentation is an overview of the multiple…