CANCELED: Plasma, Plasma, Burning Bright

  • Speaker
  • Amitava Bhattacharjee, Ph.D.Head of Theory Department, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University
Date & Time

About Simons Foundation Lectures

Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.


We regret to tell you that Amitava Bhattacharjee’s lecture, Plasma, Plasma, Burning Bright, scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th, has been cancelled.
From now through April 15, 2020 Simons Foundation Lectures will be live-streamed only (there will be no auditorium gathering), or, if that is not possible, cancelled entirely. It is very likely that our speakers and topics will change as well; we will contact you with updates as soon as they are available.
You can see updates about our other scheduled lectures here.
Please visit our lecture archive or our Simons Foundation Lectures YouTube playlist to rewatch or catch up on prior talks of interest.
We hope to see you online!
Simons Foundation Lectures

Plasmas permeate most of the visible universe. Utilizing plasmas, scientists hope to make thermonuclear fusion a viable energy source, offering effectively unlimited energy production with no carbon footprint. That quest requires better understanding, control and optimization of plasmas and has sparked the creation of the international ITER megaproject, an axisymmetric toroidal plasma device known as the tokamak that carries an axial current.

In this lecture, Amitava Bhattacharjee will discuss progress in nuclear fusion plasma research and alternatives to tokamaks called stellarators. Stellarators are three-dimensional toroidal plasma devices that are nearly currentless and are hence free of disruptive instabilities. Such devices can have a subtle form of hidden symmetry called ‘quasi-symmetry.’ Designing quasi-symmetric stellarators is an outstanding problem straddling plasma physics, applied mathematics, dynamical systems theory and computational physics. The knowledge gained over the last few decades in fusion plasma physics has directly or indirectly inspired major spin-offs in other areas of science and engineering, ranging from fundamental insights on unsolved problems in the laboratory and the cosmos to applications in materials and medicine.

About the Speaker

Bhattacharjee teaches in the department of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and serves as head of the theory department at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He is a theoretical plasma physicist with research interests spanning laboratory (including fusion), astrophysical and space plasmas. He is the director of the Simons Collaboration on Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energies. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.

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