Virtual Pressroom 2006

Most of the matter we are familiar with in everyday life comes in three states -- solid, liquid, or gas. But much more of the matter in the universe exists in a fourth state known as plasma. Plasmas are gaseous collections of electrically charged particles such as electrons and protons. Stars are primarily composed of hot plasmas. On Earth, plasmas are formed in lightning strikes and produce light in fluorescent bulbs. They are used to inscribe patterns in computer chips and other electronics, and they are also at the heart of the most promising nuclear fusion devices that may someday lead to an abundance of cheap, clean, and safe power sources.

Seven international partners, including the U.S., have now committed to the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) as the next step toward fusion energy. Many new advances relevant to magnetic confinement in ITER—such as methods to suppress plasma instabilities, control heat loss, diagnose plasma behavior, and enhance heating—have been recently achieved. At the same time, impressive progress in inertially confined fusion plasmas, high-energy-density physics, space and astrophysical plasmas, and basic plasma science has been made.

These highlights and results of many other subjects will be addressed at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics, to be held October 30-November 3, 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More than 1500 attendees will present 1600 papers covering the latest advances in plasma-based research and technology.

The American Physical Society is the world's largest professional body of physicists, representing over 43,500 physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the US and internationally.

Highlights & Press Releases

American Physical Society Invites Philadelphia to Discover Plasma
Bringing stars and galaxies down to Earth
Dense colliding plasmas
Diamonds aren't forever
DPP06 - ''Unsociable'' electrons help optimizing plasma devices
DPP06 - A little rotation provides a lot of stability
DPP06 - A nonlinear wrinkle in the investigation of heating of fusion plasmas by fast ions
DPP06 - An exhaust system for a high performance fusion engine
DPP06 - Cryogenic DT and D2 targets for inertial confinement fusion
DPP06 - Dynamics of mass transport and magnetic fields in low wire number array z-pinches
DPP06 - Fastest Waves Ever Photographed
DPP06 - Keeping tokamaks toasty: Small fusion machine achieves big breakthrough in energy confinement
DPP06 - New discovery on reconnection layer profile of MRX in 2006
DPP06 - New fusion research into slowly rotating plasmas gives favorable results for ITER performance
DPP06 - New measurements lead to an improved understanding of Alfvén waves
DPP06 - Overcoming High Heat Flux Roadblock to Fusion Energy
DPP06 - Shock-driven nuclear fusion reactions from nanoplasma explosions
DPP06 - Tearing a magnetic field to heat a fusion plasma
DPP06 - Tokamak Turbulent Transport Coupling Large and Small Eddies
DPP06 - Water on giant planets gets a new look
Flying a fusion plasma straight and level when stabilizing plasma flow is reduced
From zero to a billion electron volts in 3.3 centimeters
Generating plasma current in spherical tokamaks
Measuring how high temperature plasmas boil
Understanding how rotating plasmas can be slowed down