Basic Plasmas

Goals of the SPC Basic Plasma Physics group:

  • Contribute to advancing the understanding of fundamental phenomena that occur in magnetized plasmas and that can have an impact fusion energy research.
  • Provide a natural link between tokamak research and the developments in plasma theory, by offering an optimal environment for the validation of theoretical and numerical models.

The main experimental asset of the group is the toroidal device TORPEX.

The efforts of the group are focused on turbulence in magnetized plasmas, and its effect on the various plasma components, including supra-thermal ions.

In the following animation, the vertical drift of a supra-thermal ion beam (in blue) is shown with respect to the helical magnetic field line (in red).

Suprathermal ion beam

Turbulence is important for magnetic fusion, as it can cause a high degree of particle and energy transport, reducing the effectiveness of the plasma confinement system and eventually that of fusion reactors.

Given the similarity with the edge (scrape-off-layer) of fusion plasmas, in terms of magnetic field topology and of dimensionless parameters, this research can have an impact on understanding and controlling the turbulence-driven heat load on the wall of magnetic fusion devices.