Plasma Physics Lab Outreach

Columbia University's Plasma Physics Laboratory, led by Prof. Gerald Navratil and Prof. Michael Mauel, is the site for several high-temperature plasma experiments.

Prof. Mauel oversees the HBT-EP tokamak which investigates the application of magnetic controls to stabilize plasma instabilities at high pressure. Prof. Mauel is also in charge of the Collisionless Terrella Experiment (CTX) - the world's first "artificial radiation belt" - where they study the long-time, coherent interactions between energetic trapped electrons and a variety of plasma and electromagnetic fluctuations.

This Spring, the Plasma Lab opened its doors to groups of middle school and high school students in the U.S. and from New Zealand. Prof. Mauel, along with Plasma Lab group members and staff, gave the students a lab tour and a brief introduction to fusion energy and plasma physics.

Above: Thirty middle school students visited the lab on March 8, 2019 as part of the SEAS Outreach Program. Jimmy Andrello, Plasma Physics Laboratory Technician, gave an introduction to the lab and the equipment.

Above: Michael E. Mauel, Professor of Applied Physics and head of two major experiments in Columbia's Plasma Physics Laboratory - the HBT-EP tokamak and the Collisionless Terrella Experiment (CTX)

Above: Alex Saperstein, Applied Physics Ph.D. student

Above & Below: Plasma Physics Labortory group members and staff interact with visiting students

Below: John Brooks led a tour of HBT-EP on April 22, 2019. Visiting from Auckland, New Zealand, were 20 high-school science students led by Mr. Francis Bryden, Head of Physics at St. Cuthbert’s School (

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