Honorable Mention - Takashi Nishikawa

Faculty, Department of Physics and Astronomy

“Interaction Network of Power Generators”

To keep the U.S. power grids stable, effective and secure, the generators at power stations throughout the country have to be synchronized, i.e. oscillating at the same rate. Because generators interact with each other through a network of transmission lines, if one generator speeds up or slows down it can affect the stability of the entire network. Nishikawa and his colleagues are using mathematical analysis to generate a condition under which a power grid is optimized for maximum synchronization stability.

In this computer-generated image, the blue lines represent the physical network of transmission lines connecting power stations. Shown on top, are lines that describe the interactions between the power generators, where the color scale (from black to purple to white) indicates the strength of interaction.