Fusion and plasma confinement

The ability to confine very high temperature plasmas is central to the issue of fusion power generation. RSPE hosts the H1-NF toroidal helical-axis stellarator which is used to study the physics of confined plasmas and to develop novel diagnostic instrumentation for larger power reactors. Special areas of interest include plasma turbulence and spectroscopic instrumentation.

In support of the experimental efforts, RSPE also undertakes a strong theoretical research program in modelling of plasma flow dynamics and related complex phenomena. We are also a partial host for the ARC Complex Systems Research Network.

Selected research highlights

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a project that interests you.

A new model, multiple relaxed region MHD, has been developed to describe magnetic islands and chaotic fields in toroidal magentic cofinement. This project would extend that model to include toroidal flow.

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In this project the wave-particle resonance condition will be computed for a range of precomputed particle orbits (and orbit populations), which initially were computed for transport studies. An estimate of wave-drive due to spatial gradients will be afforded using wave functions from an ideal MHD stability analysis and orbit population information, and compared to diagnostics.

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Radiofrequency waves launched from a helicon antenna produce high density plasma for materials studies in the MAGPIE devices. The dispersion of  will be investigated experimentally, and compared with theory and simulations.  Outcomes could include optimisation of the plasma density generated or ideas for improved antenna designs.

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In this project, we apply multiple-region relaxed MHD model, designed to describe the fractal fix of chaotic field lines, magentic islands, and flux surfaces in toroidal magnetic confinement, to describe a solar flare.

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Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster