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Pushing particles with radio-frequency waves in plasma Prof. Nat Fisch

Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 11:15 to 12:30

Pushing particles with rf waves can produce enormous effects in magnetically confined plasma. Through a variety of fundamental mechanisms, waves can drive as much as mega-amps of current parallel to a magnetic field. These currents produce fields that can confine the plasma in the steady state. Importantly, it was recently shown that currents driven precisely by these mechanisms can stabilize the tearing of the magnetic fields. Alternatively, waves can also drive ions perpendicular to a magnetic field. In a tokamak reactor, the result could be to facilitate economical fusion by diverting mega-amps of power. Another effect could be to rotate the plasma. Apart from their interest in natural settings, rapidly rotating plasmas exhibit unusual effects that can be exploited in Hall thrusters, plasma mass filters, and both inertial and magnetic fusion confinement devices.