Fusion promises sustainable energy for generations. It happens at millions of degrees Kelvin, so the electron and ions of the hydrogen isotopes are unbound, becoming the state of plasma. The design of magnetic confined fusion uses magnetic fields to confine the very hot plasma. The most promising design to date is the tokamak.
The most matured means to heat up the plasma are by injecting externally accelerated particles into the plasma, or by high power electromagnetic waves. Both introduce energetic non-Maxwellian particles. This free energy can drive a variety of electromagnetic modes, ejecting themselves and preventing the plasma to reach the desired temperature and density. The Energetic Geodesic Acoustic Modes (EGAMs) are modes with axisymmetry in poloidal and toroidal direction, belonging to the aforementioned family. The figure above shows the bursting and chirping mode behaviour of EGAMs on magnetic spectrograph, with each burst associated with severe particle lost.
The PTM group dedicated to build up theoretical understanding of EGAMs. We need modifications to our theory to capture the energetic particle orbit physics, to solve the electric field of EGAMs. We have developed a code, EGAMERS, that includes the effect of “banana” orbits with electromagnetic wave heating. The student will utilize the code to carry on a thorough parameter scan over the frequency, growth rate and mode structure of EGAMs, under different profiles. He/she will then implement shifted-circle orbits into EGAMERS, to explore the regime of beam injection.
The project builds on collaborations with the University of Texas at Austin.
Interest in fusion/plasma physics. Knowledge in classics mechanics and electromagnetic theory, as well as skills in numerical analysis are desirable but not essential.
The student will get a strong education in the frontier of plasma/fusion physics and an experience of computational physics