Current and Past Research Projects, Diagnostics, and Experiments


HBT-EP is a part of the Columbia University Plasma Physics Laboratory which was founded in 1961 and is an integral part of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. It is an experimental research facility devoted to the study of basic and applied plasma physics in a broad range of applications. Several experimental projects are underway. The Columbia High-Beta Tokamak Extended Pulse (HBT-EP) supports the national program to develop controlled fusion energy.

The Collisionless Terrella Experiment (CTX) investigates wave induced particle transport in a dipole field optionally enclosed by a field null, with various applications to charged particle propulsion, dipole fusion, and space plasma physics.

The Columbia Non-Neutral Torus is a tabletop stellarator which is the first investigation of non-neutral plasmas confined on magnetic surfaces.

As a major university research center in controlled fusion research, Columbia's laboratory is very well-equipped with laser and magnetic plasma diagnostics as well as a wide array of computers. In addition to the experimental effort, there is a broad program in theoretical and computational plasma physics, with applications to fusion, space plasmas, and free-electron lasers. Recent research interests of the theory group include magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability, transport and the dynamo effect in turbulent plasmas, and optical guiding and sideband instabilities in free-electron lasers.

Support for these research programs comes from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fusion Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Office of Naval Research.

One of the primary purposes of HBT-EP is to study the effects of a movable wall, incorporating both active and passive feedback components, on plasma instabilities.


Magnetic Optical Feedback Other
Ferritic Wall Soft X-Ray Data Acquisition Hall Probe
Poloidal Sensors Thomson Scattering Power Amplifiers Bias Probe
Toroidal Sensors Fast Camera CPCI Mach/Float Probe
Rogowski Coils D-Alpha Signal Amps Rotation