Excellence Meets Excellence: New Research Center for Plasma Physics Brings Together Max Planck Institute and Princeton University
Shirley M. Tilghman, the President of Princeton University, and Peter Gruss, President of the Max Planck Society, signed the agreement for the establishment of the new joint research center at Princeton University, the Max Planck Princeton Research Center for Plasma Physics.
Consul General Busso von Alvensleben and Joann Halpern, Director of German Center for Research and Innovation, joined the Max Planck and Princeton University scientists for the signing ceremony on March 29.
Enlarge image Front row: (left to right) Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman; Max Planck Society President Peter Gruss. Back row: (left to right) James Van Dam, director of the research division of the U.S. Department of Energys Office of Fusion Science; Stewart Prager, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; James Stone, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences; A. J. Stewart Smith, Princeton University Dean for Research; Busso von Alvensleben, consul general of (© Eleanor Starkman) The new center’s partners in the field of fusion research are the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching and Greifswald (IPP) and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). In the field of astrophysical plasmas, the MPI for Solar System Research (Katlenburg-Lindau), the MPI for Astrophysics (Garching) and Princeton University’s Department for Astrophysical Sciences are also involved. Many of the methods developed by fusion research have proven to be applicable for astrophysics as well. “The aim of the cooperation is to make greater use of the synergies between fusion research and the work carried out by the astrophysicists,” explains Sibylle Günter, Director of the MPI for Plasma Physics. Günter, together with Stewart Prager of the PPPl and Jim Stone from the Department for Astrophyiscal Sciences, forms the Leading Team of the new Max Planck Princeton Center.
The center is also intended to build on advancements in fusion and astrophysical plasmas to the further development of theoretical models, and to make fusion power an energy source suitable for practical, everyday use. Max Plank Society President Gruss stressed: “It is essential that we pool our strengths and knowledge in the field of fusion research, in particular, so that we can develop nuclear fusion into something the world urgently needs for the years and decades to come: safe, clean and dependable energy technology.”
The Max Planck Princeton Research Center for Plasma Physics will promote the exchange of scientists, in particular junior scientists. To this effect, the scientists now have the potential for cooperation on an experiment campaign at the corresponding institute, or work jointly on the development of computer programs.
The new Center is one of ten Max Planck Centers that are currently being established at nine locations throughout the world.
For more information on the Max Planck Society, see: http://www.mpg.de/en
For more information on the German Center for Research and Innovation, see: http://www.germaninnovation.org/