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.

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

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The project aims to add particle orbit effects to an ANU developed theory for solving the electric field structure of Energetic Geodesic Acoustic Modes (EGAMs). EGAMs are unstable electrostatic oscillations in tokamak plasmas that are harmful to plasma confinements. The project involves analytic components as well as code developments.

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Datamining techniques extract information from H-1 and other devices, essential to understanding instabilities that threaten the viability of fusion as the ultimate clean energy source.

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Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

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