News

PUFFIN structural supports

The support structure for PUFFIN is almost completed! Taking up a corner of the cavernous West Cell of the PSFC at 190 Albany St, this aluminium frame will hold the capacitor modules for PUFFIN and provide an elevated working platform. With space for six more modules, PUFFIN has room to grow! A view of the support structure from the loading dock. A fish-eye view of the support structure from up close, showing the stairs, crane and elevated platform.

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Z Fundamental Science Workshop

Jack attended the Z Fundamental Science Workshop in Albuquerque NM, presenting results from our successful first shot on Z for the MARZ collaboration. The ZFSW brings together researchers from around the world to discuss the latest results and ideas for new research on Z, the most powerful pulsed-power machine in the world. You can find out more about MARZ on our Research page.


The first PUFFIN components have arrived!

Very exciting times at the PSFC today as we took delivery of a huge crate full of pulsed-power goodies from our suppliers ITHPP-Alcen in France. This included two LTD5 stages, a charge and dump system, the premagnetisation generator and the switch trigger pulser. They’re now waiting for the lab to be refurbished and for the design of the central power feed to be finalised so that we can put PUFFIN together and start doing science! A crate of PUFFIN components...

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Magnetic Reconnection Workshop 2022

Thomas and Jack both presented at this year’s Magnetic Reconnection Workshop (MR2022), held in Monterey, CA, from 15–21 May. The MR2022 conference brought together a wide array of different research fields, all of which are focused on the study of magnetic reconnection. Many experimental plasma physicists, theorists, astrophysicists, and space weather scientists (from the MMS mission) were in attendance, contributing to a wonderful week of scientific discussion. Jack presented recent data and simulations from the MARZ experiment, whilst Thomas presented...

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High-Temperature Diagnostics Conference 2022

Rishabh attended the High-Temperature Diagnostics Conference, which was held in Rochester NY from May 15-19. The conference is dedicated to the development of instrumentation, experimental and analytical techniques, and machine learning for magnetic & inertial confinement fusion, high-energy-density plasmas, and laboratory astrophysics. Rishabh presented a new diagnostic technique which combines bow shock imaging with inductive probe measurements to measure the flow velocity and temperature in supersonic pulsed-power-driven plasmas.


Research Visit to the Z Machine at Sandia National Labs

Jack and Rishabh spent a week in Albuquerque, NM visiting the Z pulsed-power facility at Sandia National Labs. They collected data from the first of the 4 MARZ experimental shots, provided as part of the Z Fundamental Science Program. This was the first experimental implementation of a dual inverse wire array load on the Z machine. The load, driven by the Z machine’s powerful 20 MA current pulse, generated supersonic and super-Alfvenic magnetized plasma flows, which created a radiatively-cooled current...

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NSE Research Expo 2022

Each year, the Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) department at MIT hosts the NSE Research Expo; an internal, half-day event, where students from the department can present their work as a poster, or invited talk. This year’s theme was “Foundations and Fontiers”, and students were encouraged to demonstrate the societal impact of their research field. Thomas presented some initial results from his experiments on the MAIZE pulsed-power facility at the University of Michigan, and how these results along with PUFFIN...

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First Research Trip to MAIZE

It’s been an exciting two weeks! Jack and Thomas are back from the PUFFIN group’s first experimental trip to the MAIZE facility at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They spent a fortnight working on pulsed-power experiments to study magnetic reconnection in a guide field. Using an externally-powered Helmholtz coil in conjunction with the MAIZE pulsed-power facility, they tested a scaled-down dual exploding wire array load, similar to experiments previously conducted on the MAGPIE pulsed-power facility at Imperial College London....

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APS Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) 2021

Jack and Rishabh both presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, held in Pittsburg, PA from 8-12 November. Jack presented simulation results of the MARZ magnetic-reconnection experiment, while Rishabh presented experimental and computational results on the structure of 3D collisional shocks in radiative-cooled plasmas.


Research trip to COBRA

Jack and Rishabh visited the COBRA pulsed-power facility at Cornell University in November 2021. Over two weeks, they characterized the plasma ablation and flows generated using planar wire arrays. The planar arrays were specifically designed to mimic the driving magnetic pressure and current per wire that the Z machine at Sandia National Labs would generate in cylindrical exploding wire arrays for the MARZ experimental campaign.


Mechanical Engineering Research Exhibition 2021

MIT’s annual Mechanical Engineering Research Exhibition gives graduate students, post-docs, and UROPs an opportunity to share their exciting mechanical engineering research projects with the wider MIT community. Rishabh presented a poster detailing laboratory experiments of high-energy-density shocks in magnetized supersonic plasmas, and won an Honorable Mention for his presentation.