Taking a new tangent to control pesky waves in fusion plasmas

phys.org | 10/24/2019 | Staff
chicana948chicana948 (Posted by) Level 3
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New and original neutral beams installed on the NSTX-U at PPPL. Credit: NSTX-U collaboration.

Fusion combines light elements in the form of plasma—"the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei—"to generate massive amounts of energy. One of the ways that scientists help heat the plasma is by injecting beams of energetic particles into tokamaks to provide enough energy for plasma particles to overcome mutual repulsion and fuse together. The injected particles, however, can also produce waves that cause plasma energy to leak out of the magnetic fields that confine it, cooling the plasma and helping to quench the fusion reactions. It is therefore beneficial to the development of fusion energy to suppress these waves.

Researchers - Princeton - Plasma - Physics - Laboratory

Researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed new mathematical tools to forecast when the waves will be present and could cool the plasma. Importantly, the mathematical expressions predict that a second beam injected at a different angle from the original beam will suppress the undesired effect of the waves, providing new methods for maintaining the plasma's confinement. Such a second beam (Figure 1)...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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