Obscura Day 2016: Behind the Scenes at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Princeton, New Jersey

Obscura Day 2016: Behind the Scenes at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab

Learn about plasma physics, nuclear fusion, the National Spherical Torus Experiment and other research taking place at PPPL on this special access laboratory tour!

Join us on Obscura Day for a special visit to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)!

PPPL is a national collaborative laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy managed by Princeton University. Researchers at the lab study plasma physics and nuclear fusion, and are working to develop fusion energy as a clean, safe, and affordable source of power. The history of the lab began in 1951 with Princeton professor Lyman Spitzer, Jr., who was not only the founder of PPPL but also inspired the development of the Hubble Space Telescope. The story goes that Spitzer, who was an avid skier, came up with the idea for a figure-eight shaped “stellarator” on a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado. He launched his project a few months later in a former rabbit hutch a few miles from Princeton University.

The lab's flagship machine is the recently upgraded National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U). Inside this machine, scientists take hydrogen nuclei and heat them to temperatures hotter than the center of the sun while keeping them in place via electromagnets that are 100,000 times stronger than the earth’s magnetic field at the surface. The experiment attracts researchers from all over the world and is a crucial step in the quest to develop fusion energy – the same energy that powers the sun and the stars.

During this event, attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at NSTX-U and other experiments at PPPL. The afternoon will also include talks by physicists and engineers, videos, and hands-on demonstrations and activities.

DETAILS:
Saturday, April 16; Two tours at 10:00am - 12:30pm & 1:00pm - 3:30pm. Make sure to double-check your reservation time!
Ticket Cost: Free, but capacity is limited. RSVP REQUIRED.
Adult visitors MUST bring a valid photo ID (passport or license) for entry.
All visitors are welcome, but non-citizens are required to provide their citizenship, date of birth, and place of birth in advance.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
100 Stellarator Road
Princeton, NJ 08543
Directions are available at: http://www.pppl.gov/about/visiting-pppl

Take a New Jersey Transit Northeast corridor train to Princeton Junction or to Princeton. A schedule is available at http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/R0070.pdf. You can either take a cab or other transportation from Princeton Junction. Information on taxi services is available at http://www.princeton.edu/transportation/pubtrans.html.

Check out our full lineup of amazing adventures taking place all around the world on Obscura Day, our annual celebration of discovery!

Share photos on Twitter and Instagram with us @atlasobscura using the #obscuraday hashtag.