Available student project - Constraining toroidal equilibria to accretion disc observations

Research fields

  • Astrophysics
  • Fusion and Plasma Confinement

Project details

An accretion disc is a structure formed by plasma in orbital motion around a massive central body - normally a star or black hole. Such structures are often modelled by the Grad-Shafranov equation, which describes the balance of forced perpendicular to flow lines.

In toroidal magnetic confinement, the assumption of toroidal-axis symmetry also leads to the Grad-Shafranov equation, which in this case represents force alance perpendicular to magnetic field surfaces.  Both treatments normally use polynomial representations for the constraints, and solve for the configuration using current-field iteration.

In this project we would compare the construction of accretion disc and magnetic configuration Grad-Shafranov problems, and apply a recently developed toroidal magnetic confinement equilibrium code to model an accretion disc. A focus of the project will be constraining free functions to observational data.

Required background

electrodynamics, plasma physics

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project
  • Honours project
  • Vacation scholar

Contact supervisor

Hole, Matthew profile
Senior Fellow
(02) 612 57606

Other supervisor(s)

Fitzgerald, Michael profile
Visiting Fellow

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster