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fusion Theory & Computation

TORIC Full wave RF mode conversion
TORIC Full wave RF mode conversion


Research in the Fusion Theory Group is performed in support of the national and international magnetic fusion programs, as well as the Alcator C-Mod
(C-Mod) and the Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX).

This research is is divided into four major areas:

(Click the titles below for information on current research activities in each area)

1. MHD and Stability


Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) describes a plasma as a current carrying fluid interacting with electromagnetic fields. In single fluid MHD all species have the same lowest order flow velocity, with any small differences accounting for the current. In multi-fluid or extended MHD the species flow velocities are independent and finite gyroradius effects are retained.

2. Heating and Current Drive


Radio frequency waves in different frequency regimes can be used to heat plasma to fusion relevant temperatures, and to generate plasma currents. They can also be used to modify the current profile to control some MHD instabilities and improve confinement.

3. Confinement and Transport


Plasma wave induced micro-turbulence as well as collisional transport impact confinement in toroidal plasma confinement devices. The interplay of turbulence, collisions, and plasma edge phenomena determine attainable pressures, and hence fusion power, in magnetic fusion relevant plasmas.

4. LDX and Innovative Concepts


The Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX) represents a novel alternate path to fusion and provides a controlled laboratory setting for studying dipole magnetic field confined plasmas. Other non-tokamak geometries such as Z-pinches, stellarators and reversed field pinches are are also being investigated.




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