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Physics Colloquium: Fusion Energy: Harnessing the power of the Sun on Earth

This is a past event.

Friday, October 25, 2019 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

PG6 - Tech Station, 112
11200 SW 8th ST 33199, PG6 - Tech Station, Miami, Florida 33199

Dr. S.J. Diem

Fusion Energy Division, Oak Ridge National Lab

Abstract: The potential to use fusion as a carbon-free, fuel-abundant energy source to meet the world’s growing energy demands has motivated significant US and international research. At present, the global fusion community is embarking on a new era to demonstrate net fusion power production with the construction of ITER, a fusion reactor that uses a donut-shaped magnetic field to confine 150 million C plasma (10x hotter than the center of the sun) with the goal of producing 500 MW of fusion power. This talk will illustrate the concept of magnetic fusion energy, highlight some key research accomplishments, and introduce some of the exciting research activities being pursued to bring fusion energy to the electricity grid.

Short Bio: Dr. Steffi Diem is a Research & Development Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Fusion Energy Division. Her research interests are experimental plasma physics for fusion energy development. Her research is focused on validation of physics codes to model and predict experiments ranging from heating and driving current to stability analysis of high-temperature plasmas, in order to extrapolate these models for use on a fusion based power plant. Dr. Diem also holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she leads an experimental campaign to use high-power microwaves to heat plasmas. Before joining ORNL, Dr. Diem received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Nuclear Engineering and her M.A./Ph.D. from Princeton University in Astrophysical Sciences.

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