Luis Delgado-Aparicio, a principal research physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been named a member of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC), which advises the director of the United States Office of Science on complex scientific and technical matters related to America’s fusion energy sciences research program.
Delgado-Aparicio will specifically provide advice about confining plasma, ultra-hot gas sometimes known as the fourth state of matter, within doughnut-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks. Scientists around the world use tokamaks and other devices to try to harness the fusion process that powers the sun and stars to create electricity with producing greenhouse gases and long-lived radioactive waste.
Delgado-Aparicio will also provide expert counsel about the movement of heat and particles within plasma, as well as magnetohydrodynamics, a set of physical laws that describe plasma’s behavior and is used to create computer simulations that help improve tokamak performance.
The committee meets approximately three times a year in Washington, D.C. His three-year term began in October 2022 and will extend until June 2025.
“I am extremely honored to join the FESAC committee,” Delgado-Aparicio said. “It’s a huge responsibility and a wonderful opportunity.”
In addition, in October Delgado-Aparicio was named the new head of PPPL’s Department of Advanced Projects, replacing PPPL physicist David Gates. The department oversees the Lab’s efforts to build a new type of twisty stellarator fusion facility that incorporates permanent magnets, similar to those used on refrigerator doors. The department also manages PPPL’s collaboration with stellarators around the world, including Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X and Japan’s Large Helical Device, as well as PPPL’s efforts to provide plasma sensors that rely on powerful light known as X-rays. Other divisions within Advanced Projects include Fusion System Studies and Next-Step Project Development.
PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science