The FES program mission is to expand the fundamental understanding of matter at very high temperatures and densities and to build the scientific foundation needed to develop a fusion energy source. This is accomplished by studying plasma and its interactions with its surroundings across wide ranges of temperature and density, developing advanced diagnostics to make detailed measurements of its properties and dynamics, and creating theoretical and computational models to resolve essential physics principles.

The physics of plasmas is at the heart of understanding how stars shine and evolve over billions of years. Plasmas, essentially hot gases of ions and electrons, are found in environments as familiar as fluorescent lighting and lightning bolts, as unimaginably harsh as the centers of stars, and as exotic as the environments surrounding super massive black holes. The science of plasma physics that describes the plasmas in these environments also describes the auroras that gently illuminate the northern and southern skies and the solar corona, where temperatures are far higher than on the sun’s surface. At the scale of the very small, plasma physics and materials science combine to enable the exquisitely precise manufacture of semiconductors. Plasma science is also at the heart of advances in efficiencies in the lighting industry.

Simulation of plasma turbulence inside a reactor   Surface of the sun, showing flares and sunspots   Computer image of the sun layers   Shimmering green northern lights (aurora borealis)   Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)

Our long term interests in major projects and energy are well served by nurturing of discovery and innovation.

Major Facilities



Recent Reports


FES a 10 year perspective (2015-2025)  U.S. Participation in the ITER Project May 2016  Report of the Workshop on Integrated Simulations for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences June 2015  Plasma: at the frontier of scientific discovery  FES Workshop: on transients in tokamak plasma June 2015  FES Workshop: on plasma materials interactions Msy 2015