Postdoctoral associate Cristina Rea at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) is exploring ways to predict disruptions in the turbulent plasma that fuels fusion tokamaks. Tokamaks use magnetic fields to contain hot plasma in a donut-shaped vacuum chamber long enough for fusion to occur. Chaotic and unpredictable, the plasma resists confinement, and disrupts. Timely predictions about incipient plasma disruptions could help sustain fusion energy production in these devices, while preventing damage to the machine. To tackle the issue, Rea is part of the PSFC’s collaboration with the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego, which, since the Center’s Alcator C-Mod device ended its run in September 2016, is the only fusion grade tokamak in the U.S. that is currently running.