Experiments
OMEGA EP Laser Systems (Omega-EP)
University of Rochester
Website
The Omega Laser Facility is operated by the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics. It consists of the 60-beam OMEGA and the 4-beam OMEGA EP Laser Systems. The OMEGA Laser System, completed in 1995, consists of 60 laser beams each capable of producing 500 J of 351 nm irradiation with a pulse length of up to 3.9 ns. The beams are arranged to illuminate a target with spherical symmetry, but can be configured to irradiate a wide variety of target configurations including multiple planar foils. The nominal shot rate is one shot per hour.

Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment (T-REX)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Website
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in plasmas that converts magnetic energy into particle energy while changing the topology of the magnetic field lines. Although reconnection occurs in microscopic diffusion regions it often governs the macroscopic properties and behavior of the system. For examples, reconnection controls the evolution of explosive events such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections and magnetic storms in the Earth's magnetotail. The latter drive the auroral phenomena. In magnetic fusion devices magnetic reconnection is responsible for the periodically occurring internal relaxation events (sawtooth reconnection) which can degrade the plasma confinement.

Reconnection has been investigated heavily for several decades, and for experiments to remain relevant in this maturing field of research and help push forward emerging frontiers, new devices are needed which access regimes of fully collisionless plasmas at large spatial scale. To address this need, the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment (T-REX) is now being constructed within the Physics Department at UW-Madison. Through the use of the 3m diameter spherical vacuum vessel of the Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment (MPDX), T-REX is spatially the largest dedicated reconnection experiment to date. The new hardware for implementing T-REX is shown above.

The Magnetic Reconnection Device (FLARE/MRD)
Princeton University
The MRD facility (now called FLARE) is a next-generation laboratory experiment to study magnetic reconnection and related phenomena in new physics regimes that are more directly related to space and astrophysical plasmas. The concept for the MRD was developed with signi cant collaboration within the CMSO and its construction at Princeton has been just recently approved by NSF's Major Research Instrument program. The MRD will be a collaborative user-facility open to a large number of domestic and international user groups.

Madison Symmetric Torus (MST)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Website
The Madison Symmetric Torus produces hot plasma for research in plasma physics and fusion power generation, the energy source of the sun.

Located in the Physics Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MST research is sponsored by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment (MPDX)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Website
The Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment (MPDX) is for investigating self-generation of magnetic fields and related processes in a large, weakly magnetized, fast flowing, and hot (conducting) plasma. It is a major new, flexible plasma device and associated infrastructure will become available for a new generation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to carry out experiments in a previously uninvestigated plasma regime, a regime asymptotically similar to many astrophysical plasmas.

Plasma Couette Experiment (PCX)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Website
The Plasma Couette Experiment (PCX) is studying the mechanism by which matter is accreted onto black holes, protostars, and other compact objects. In particular, it is designed to study the magnetorotational instability in laboratory plasma. In the process, we are testing a concept for confining and spinning hot, dense plasma using a novel multidipole magnetic field and electrodes. The plasma produced is mostly unmagnetized and differentially rotating, and therefore it can be used for studying astrophysical processes in which the kinetic energy in the flowing plasma is much larger than the magnetic energy.

Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX)
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Website
The Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) is a small laboratory experiment located at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). This project is also affiliated with Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas (CMSO). The goal of MRX is to investigate the fundamental physics of magnetic field line reconnection, an important process in magnetized plasmas in space and in the laboratory. Click here to learn more about magnetic reconnection.

Magnetorotational Instability Experiment (MRI)
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Website
The Magnetorotational Instability (MRI) Experiment is a small laboratory experiment located at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), in collaboration with Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University. This project is also affiliated with Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas (CMSO). The goal of MRI Experiment is to investigate physics of MRI in liquid gallium. Click to learn more about the physics of MRI and to find out our publications and results.

Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX)
Swarthmore College
Website
The Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) studies fundamental plasma physics phenomena such as magnetic reconnection using rings of plasma called spheromaks. Current experiments measure the energy and angular distribution of particles that are accelerated by magnetic reconnection of two merging spheromaks. Undergraduate students are involved in all aspects of research including designing and conducting the experiments and writing papers. SSX is located in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Swarthmore College.