Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Greifswald)

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Greifswald)

The researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics want to fetch the Sun's fire to Earth. A future fusion power plant is to produce energy by fusing nuclei of the two heavy hydrogen isotopes, viz. deuterium and tritium, to form helium. The fusion fire is brought to ignition in a plasma with a temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius, that is confined within a magnetic field preventing contact with the vessel wall. The ITER international test reactor is to demonstrate that the reaction yields more energy than is required to attain the high ignition temperature. Research scientists are investigating devices of various types and the processes occurring in them. In operation at Garching is the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak, at the Greifswald branch Wendelstein 7-X, the world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type. Experiment and theory at these sites are concerned with investigating how the fusion conditions can be realised with the greatest efficiency. Last but not least, IPP is also studying the socio-economic conditions under which nuclear fusion could contribute to the energy mix of the future.


Wendelsteinstraße 1
17491 Greifswald
Phone: +49 3834 88-1000
Fax: +49 3834 88-2009

PhD opportunities

This institute has no International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

There is always the possibility to do a PhD. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Max-Planck-Princeton partnership in fusion research confirmed
Investigation of plasmas in astrophysics and fusion research / funding for another two to five years more
Research highlights from the Yearbook
Our Yearbook 2016 showcases the research carried out at the Max Planck Institutes. We selected a few reports to illustrate the variety and diversity of topics and projects. more
Start of scientific experimentation at the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device
Yearbook article 2016, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Greifswald
Authors: Thomas Klinger, Isabella Milch more
"We've come pretty far in plasma research"
Thomas Klinger, Director at the IPP, talks about the special features of the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator and its structure, and the prospects for the construction of a fusion power plant. more
First plasma generated in the Wendelstein 7-X
Greifswald fusion device now in operation more
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Neutral particle heating for Wendelstein 7-X

2018 Bernd Heinemann, Dirk Hartmann
Plasma Physics
Construction of the neutral particle heating for the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device will soon be completed. In addition to the existing microwave heating, the new device will be ready for use from summer next year. It will inject up to seven megawatts into the plasma. more

En route to electron-positron plasmas

2017 Horn-Stanja, Juliane
Particle Physics Plasma Physics Quantum Physics
A pair plasma consisting of electrons and positrons is of great interest both in basic plasma physics and in astrophysics. Here these plasmas are believed to exist in the vicinity of various astrophysical objects. Within the framework of the APEX project, a magnetically confined electron-positron plasma is to be generated in the laboratory for the first time. First positron experiments have already yielded important results. more

Start of scientific experimentation at the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device

2016 Klinger, Thomas; Milch, Isabella
Plasma Physics
Following nine years of construction work and one year of technical preparations and tests on 10 December 2015 the first helium plasma was produced in the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald. The first hydrogen plasma was to follow on 3 February 2016, this marking the start of scientific operation. Wendelstein 7-X, the world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type, is to investigate this configuration’s suitability for use in a power plant. more

VINETA.II – Fundamental research on magnetic reconnection

2015 Grulke, Olaf
Astrophysics Plasma Physics
The experiment VINETA.II is designed for studies of magnetic reconnection. Due to the separation of plasma generation and reconnection drive a high degree of controllability and reproducibility is achieved. Special attention is paid to investigations of the spatial and temporal development of the reconnection current sheet on different scales. On the macroscopic scale the current sheet is mainly influenced by the geometry of the magnetic field. On the microscopic scale the current sheet develops turbulent fluctuations, which characteristics are determined by the electron dynamics. more

WEGA fusion experiment goes into retirement

2014 Wagner, Friedrich
Plasma Physics
After more then twelve years of research the small WEGA fusion device at IPP’s Greifswald branch end of 2013 has been shut down. The “Wendelstein training experiment at IPP Greifswald” is making room for the Wendelstein 7-X large-scale device, construction of which will be concluded this year. WEGA served as a training ground for students and junior scientists to bridge the gap till completion of Wendelstein 7-X. Inspite of its small dimensions WEGA achieved remarkable research results. more
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