Consider what the universe is made of and how the answers may inform 21st-century energy research, September 5-13, 2015

The quest for unlimited energy is on and Princeton University, through its association with the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is on the cutting edge of research in the most important questions of fundamental and applied science of our time. Join nuclear engineer and materials scientist Adam Cohen, the deputy director of the PPPL, as he unlocks not only the secrets of 21st-century science but also the doors to some of the most promising research centers in the world.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), widely considered the world's most advanced center for particle physics, has become the critical center for scientific research in Europe. See these amazing research facilities up close and learn about the fundamental research undertaken there. While in Geneva, visit the city's Old Town, Switzerland's largest historical site; the United Nations headquarters building, considered the center of world diplomacy; and the Bodmer Foundation Museum, designed by Mario Botta with a collection of works that have led to major intellectual breakthroughs. During a beautiful drive from Geneva to Aix-en-Provence, stop for a visit at the European Synchrotron (ESRF), the most powerful synchrotron radiation source in Europe where thousands of researchers travel to conduct exciting experiments at the cutting edge of modern science. Watch physicists work side by side with chemists and materials scientists on the beamlines and experimental hall. Near Aix-en-Provence, join a guided tour of the ITER construction site. ITER is an international project designed to build the "next generation" of experimental fusion reactor based on the tokamak concept. Visit the existing buildings and the portion of the site in-progress and learn about the culmination of decades of fusion research, design work, and complex negotiations that have led to ITER's large-scale scientific experiment aiming to demonstrate the technological and scientific feasibility of fusion energy. Finally, enjoy a relaxing day in the French countryside at Chateau la Coste, which will include a visit inside the state-of-the-art wine-making facility designed by famous architect, Jean Nouvel; a tasting of the excellent wines produced on the property; and time to stroll through the estate to admire the works of art installed by famous artists and architects from all over the world.

About the Study Leader

Adam Cohen, Deputy Director of Operations at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this program.

After enjoying a rich and varied career that included being in the nuclear submarine service in the U.S. Navy, working as chief operations officer at Argonne National Laboratory, and serving as senior science adviser at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Cohen joined PPPL in 2009, overseeing functions ranging from engineering and project management to finance and communications. He earned his Ph.D. in materials science from Northwestern University. On this Journey he hopes to discuss with travelers the importance of both basic and applied research in physics and to open doors through his colleagues at Europe's finest facilities to learn, alongside travelers, the latest developments in research.

About PPL

The U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a collaborative national center for fusion energy research. The Laboratory advances the coupled fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research, and, with collaborators, is developing the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world. An associated mission is providing the highest quality of scientific education.

Trip Details

  • Dates: September 5-13, 2015
  • Cost: $5,295 per person, double occupancy
  • Deposit: $1,000 per person
  • Activity Level: Moderate

Trip Resources

View photos of the Journey

The 2013 documentary Particle Fever dramatically traces the experiments of physicists at CERN that culminated in the exciting confirmation of the Higgs boson in 2012. View the movie trailer.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)




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