Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

The research conducted at IPP is concerned with investigating the physical basis of a fusion power plant, which, like the sun, is to generate energy from fusion of atomic nuclei.

With its workforce of approx. 1,100 Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching and Greifswald is one of the largest fusion research centres in Europe: In Garching, IPP is operating the tokamak ASDEX Upgrade. The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator is being investigated at the Greifswald Branch Institute of IPP.

Ten scientific divisions in Garching and Greifswald are investigating the confinement of high-temperature hydrogen plasmas in magnetic fields, heating of plasmas, plasma diagnostics, magnetic field technology, data acquisition and processing, plasma control, plasma theory, materials research, and plasma-wall interaction.

IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society. A long-term scientific partnership links IPP with the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, in particular in a joint programme on fusion research. IPP is part of the European Fusion Programme within the framework of the „European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy" (EUROfusion). The consortium is coordinated by IPP in Garching and comprises 30 fusion centres from 26 countries of the European Union as well as Switzerland and Ukraine. In Garching, the IPP also hosts the Programme Management Unit of EUROfusion.

The funding of IPP in 2020 amounted to about 135 million euros, shared by the Federal Government (74 per cent), the states of Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (4 per cent each), and the European Union (17 per cent) through EUROfusion. Third parties contributed one per cent.

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

IPP has about 1,000 members of staff. It is the only institute in the world conducting research on both types of fusion devices, the tokamak and the stellarator.

At Garching the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak is located. It is to investigate crucial questions of fusion under power plant conditions.

The results obtained provide important data for constructing and operating the ITER international experimental reactor.

Scientists from Garching are also involved in JET, the joint European project in England and contribute to the preparations for a demonstration power plant.

IPP’s Greifswald Branch Institute is operating the world’s largest stellarator, Wendelstein 7-X.

Its centrepiece is a complex magnet coil system. The aim is to demonstrate the stellarator’s suitability for use in a power plant.

Then scientists in the divisions for technology, plasma theory, numerics, materials research and surface physics are pursuing the goal ...

... of reproducing the sun’s fire on earth.

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