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Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering: Fusion Research Overview

November 30, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Anne White
MON, 11/30/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series


Research in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) spans fission, fusion, security & policy, quantum engineering, and materials in extreme environments. An integrated focus on advanced computational modeling and simulation underlies all research areas in the department. Advanced fission reactors, upgraded existing plants, and new fuel cycle strategies will redefine nuclear power's role in addressing climate change. In NSE we conduct a combination of front-line technology development, groundbreaking strategic studies, and professional education for nuclear technologists and managers. NSE has an exciting portfolio of plasma physics and fusion energy research. Our students benefit from close connections to the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, PSFC, one of the world’s leading university-based plasma research and fusion technology centers. Recently, MIT announced work on the SPARC project, a compact, high-field, net fusion energy tokamak. Beyond fusion, plasma research covers a range of theoretical and experimental topics: space and astrophysical plasmas, magnetic reconnection, high energy density plasmas, plasma turbulence, fusion materials, fusion technology, and plasma diagnostics. Nuclear security-related activities have been part of NSE since its inception, and continue to address the issue at both strategic and technical levels. Quantum Engineering is a growing area in NSE. Our faculty and students are interested in the precise control and characterization of quantum systems. Achieving exquisite quantum control will enable practical implementations of quantum information processing (QIP) concepts.

Understanding how materials perform severe operating environments is a major challenge for materials science. A convergence of exciting new scientific tools is emerging that will enable understanding and control at multiple physical scales from the atomic to the macroscopic, and over timescales from less than a nanosecond to many decades. This overview talk will focus primarily on fusion energy research, but will touch on highlights from across NSE.

About the Speaker:
Anne E. White is the head of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at MIT and is the MIT School of Engineering Distinguished Professor of Engineering. She received her PhD in experimental plasma physics in 2008 from UCLA and performed research at the Electric Tokamak (UCLA), NSTX (PPPL) and DIII-D (General Atomics) before becoming an assistant professor at MIT in 2009.  White performs fusion energy research at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. At the PSFC she ran the Gyrokinetic Simulation Working Group (2010-2015) and the Alcator C-Mod Transport Group (2015-2016), before becoming Assistant Division Head for MFE Collaborations in 2017 and Associate Director of the PSFC in 2018. Prof. White actively performs research in diagnostic development, turbulence and transport, and model validation at ASDEX Upgrade. She is involved with projects for diagnostic development at a number of fusion facilities, and advises or co-advises undergraduate and graduate students and post-docs on a variety of experimental and simulation-based modeling projects. Prof. White is active in the fusion community, is a member of APS and ANS, and has served on the executive committees and program committees of the APS-DPP, Sherwood Fusion Theory (former chair), US BPO, and US-EU TTF. She is an editorial board member for the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, is member of the UFA and FESAC.  She has won numerous awards for her research, teaching and service to MIT and to the fusion community, and was appointed as an APS-DPP Distinguished Lecturer in Plasma Physics in 2015-2016 and became and APS Fellow in 2019.


November 30, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:

NE Front Office
4153 Etcheverry Hall, MC 1730
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720

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