Remote-control plasma physics experiment is named one of top Webcams of 2018

January 23, 2019 by Larry Bernard, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Students control a 10,000-degree plasma in the RGDX at PPPL. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications

Want to create your own plasma? You can create and control a plasma from the comfort of your own device.

The Remote Glow Discharge Experiment (RGDX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) allows you to turn on a and change the gas pressure, the voltage, and the strength of the electromagnets surrounding it from wherever you are. From a , you can control a plasma with a magnetic field, the same way scientists control a plasma in a tokamak, the magnetic devices that scientists use in fusion experiments.

Now, the RGDX has been named one of the "25 Most Interesting Webcams of 2018" by EarthCam - a website that collects webcams from thousands of sites across the globe and has been seen by 3.6 million viewers over the past six months. Judges from USA Today, CBS News, and elsewhere voted on "the most unique and interesting webcams of 2018" and ranked the RGDX in the top 25. You can find RGDX and the rest of the awardees here:

"The Remote Glow Discharge Experiment can be used from anywhere in the world," said Arturo Dominguez, Ph.D., senior program leader in the Science Education department at PPPL. "Create and control a 10,000-degree plasma housed at the lab from your phone or laptop and explore how magnets can be used to manipulate and confine it."

Physicist Arturo Dominguez, senior program leader in science education and developer of the RGDX. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications

Fusion, which releases boundless energy by fusing in the state of matter known as plasma, could produce clean and virtually limitless power for generating electricity for cities and industries everywhere. Capturing and controlling fusion energy is therefore a key scientific and engineering challenge for researchers throughout the world.

"We are geeking out over this awesome live webcam at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey," the Earthcam judges said. "The interactive camera invites you to be a part of the Remote Glow Discharge Experiment. Control the pressure, voltage, and inside the and watch how the plasma reacts. Oh, the power!"

You can visit the RGDX Lab at

Explore further: Bring a 50,000-degree plasma into your living room

Related Stories

Bring a 50,000-degree plasma into your living room

November 13, 2013

With the rise of online open course platforms such as Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare and iTunes U, it has never been easier to teach yourself everything from American history to semiconductor manufacturing. These courses ...

Recommended for you

CMS gets first result using largest-ever LHC data sample

February 15, 2019

Just under three months after the final proton–proton collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)'s second run (Run 2), the CMS collaboration has submitted its first paper based on the full LHC dataset collected in ...

Gravitational waves will settle cosmic conundrum

February 14, 2019

Measurements of gravitational waves from approximately 50 binary neutron stars over the next decade will definitively resolve an intense debate about how quickly our universe is expanding, according to findings from an international ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jan 24, 2019
Took a look at the website where you can control the plasma real-time, which is neat.

The Electric Universe people won't be too pleased with it, since there's no "Scale this up to cosmological dimensions" button...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.