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.

Contact

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.

On 21 March 1991, the Asdex Upgrade experimental facility at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching generated the first plasma. Since then, the facility has been continuously expanded and improved.

Through the integration of the IPP into the Max Planck Society, the Institute is opening a new chapter in its history, which goes back to Werner Heisenberg

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Investigation of plasmas in astrophysics and fusion research / funding for another two to five years

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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.

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Yearbook article 2016, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Greifswald
Authors: Thomas Klinger, Isabella Milch

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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.

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Nuclear fusion aims to recreate the sun’s power on Earth and would represent a completely new source of energy. At the Wendelstein 7-X facility, researchers led by Thomas Klinger, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, are exploring one approach to this form of energy generation.

Postdoctoral Researcher / Postdoctoral Engineer (m/f/d) for structural analyses

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Greifswald), Greifswald January 27, 2023

A digital twin of a stellarator fusion power plant

2021 Warmer, Felix

Plasma Physics

When designing a stellarator fusion power plant, a "digital twin" should help to investigate the impact of new technologies, physical findings or uncertainties. This would allow an almost endless number of design alternatives to be investigated in parallel. In order to describe the interaction of system components, they must first be modeled individually. In recent years, IPP has succeeded - for the first time worldwide - in developing a number of these models for a stellarator power plant and combining them in a simulation platform.

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The Wendelstein 7-X fusion device, an optimized stellarator working at IPP Greifswald since December 2015, will be put into operation step by step. In the first two experimental phases, the plasma was first bordered by a material limiter and then magnetically by an uncooled divertor. Currently, a water-cooling system is being installed. This is intended to enable half hour-long plasma discharges at high heating power in Wendelstein 7-X.

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Turbulence stabilisation in stellarators

2019 Helander, Per

Plasma Physics

One of the greatest tasks of fusion research is to confine the hot fuel with good heat insulation. Energy losses, in particular due to turbulence, must remain as small as possible. In the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, by injecting pellets made of frozen hydrogen a plasma state with low turbulence could be achieved.

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The second operating phase of the Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion device lasted from July to November 2018. The newly installed divertor for removing particles and energy from the plasma was tested. High plasma density, plasma temperature, and energy content were attained, and long discharge times of up to 100 seconds achieved, these being record results for fusion devices of the stellarator type.

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Neutral particle heating for Wendelstein 7-X

2017 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.

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