Student Information

Student Name

Aesa Kamar




Internship Information

Company/Organization: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Mentor(s):Andrew Zwicker

Topic of Internship

Science Education

Background Information

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is dedicated to studying the fourth state of matter, plasma. Although not many people think about plasma as being a necessarily important in their everyday lives, but it actually makes up 95% of the matter in the universe. The PPPL has several experiments set up designed to study the behavior of plasmas under different conditions. From the formation of a newborn star, or the violent collapse of an ancient one, plasma physics is useful for modeling and understanding their behavior. The ultimate goal of the PPPL, as envisioned by its founder, Dr. Lyman Spitzer, is to create a fusion power source to generate immense amounts of energy.

Summary of Internship

The main requirement of a science education intern is an extreme aptitude for learning. Plasma physics is a relatively new field of research, so the experiments that we conduct are at the pioneering edge of out current knowledge. I work mainly in the dusty lab where we model the behavior of microscopic silica dust in a low temperature environment. Under the direction of the Science Education team, I formulate equations and hypotheses about different factors which affect the dust cloud that we create. In addition to the theoretical assessment, I also help to design and construct the apparatuses needed to interact with and measure the plasma. We develop ideas of hypotheses and phenomena we want to test, and then then design the experiment needed to test the procedure.

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