Emily Ho, 2018, Undeclared

I worked as a research intern for Dr. Sam Cohen at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which is dedicated to achieving fusion as an economical and clean alternative energy source. Dr. Cohen is focused on a type of reactor called the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC-2) because he believes that small reactors are the safest, most sensible means to that end. Under his tutelage, I studied and examined the various causes of oscillations in the plasma. Understanding the behavior of the oscillations of ions and electrons and interactions between those oscillations is key to analyzing how instabilities will grow and behave in plasma. For this project I used a Phantom camera, which takes videos at thousands of frames per second, and a Langmuir probe, an electrode inserted into the plasma. Working with these tools in the lab alongside Dr. Cohen’s other undergraduate and graduate students not only gave me a glimpse of how experimental physics research is conducted, it also gave me a new passion to study physics.