This month, as part of our special on the future of education, PopSci presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.
Lab: Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University
Career: Plasma physicist, fusion scientist, mechanical engineer
Each summer, 45 undergraduate physics and engineering students from schools across the country converge at Princeton for a crash course in plasma physics. A state of matter found in stars and frequently in interstellar space, a plasma is an electrically charged soup of ions and free electrons made by superheating atoms until they rip themselves apart.