56th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

Nov 03 2014

APAM faculty, researchers, students, and alumni recently attended the 56th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics in New Orleans, Louisiana, from October 27-31, 2014.

During a celebration of Columbia University Plasma Physics, seven scientists were recognized for their invitations to present talks about their research on magnetically confined high-temperature plasma. Columbia Alumni Jeffrey Levesque (Ph.D. 2012), Steve Sabbagh (Ph.D. 1990), Brian Grierson (Ph.D. 2009), and Andrea Garofalo (Ph.D. 1997) presented new research on the stability and control of tokamak discharges. Applied Physics graduate student Max Roberts reported how local current injection can be used to control plasma convection in magnetospheric configuration. Dr. Francesco Turco, Columbia Research Scientist working at the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego, CA,  lectured during the special session for ITER physics, and Dr. Chris Hansen, visiting scientist working at Columbia’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, spoke about using distributed diagnostic arrays to validate high-performance computer simulations of magnetized plasma. Links to the titles and abstracts of these seven talks can be found online: (Bulletin of the APS, Vol 59, Number 15, http://meeting.aps.org/Meeting/DPP14/Content/2782)

Two Columbia University undergraduate students also presented their research conducted over the summer at General Atomics, San Diego, as National Undergraduate Fusion Fellows. (See http://www.pppl.gov/education/science-education/blog/welcome-2013-nufsulicci-summer-undergrads.)  Cole Stephens, Class of 2015, presented his study of the heat flux from a tokamak plasma during edge instabilities.

Sean Ballinger, Class of 2016, used a tokamak “simulator” to test real-time feedback control systems that may be implemented in the a Korean tokamak made with superconducting magnets. Scientists judged Sean Ballinger’s presentation highly, and he received the “Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation Award” from the APS Division of Plasma Physics.

(left-right): Jeffrey Levesque, Steve Sabbagh, Max Roberts, Chris Hansen, Brian Grierson, Francesco Turco and Andrea Garofalo