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Taming the particle transport in magnetized plasmas via perturbative fields

Project description

Plasma instabilities in magnetic confinement fusion devices unleash revelations about solar wind

Experimental model systems help us to understand the world better in fields from biology to astronomy. Whenever observations of the real thing are not feasible for a variety of reasons, including technical difficulty and cost, simulators provide critical insight. Plasmas are widespread in our cosmos and magnetic confinement fusion (MCF) devices can help scientists study them. Now, studying a plasma-related phenomenon that impacts MCF integrity will also provide insight into solar plasma. The EU-funded 3D-FIREFLUC project is developing pioneering control techniques to mitigate the plasma-related magnetohydrodynamic fluctuations that could damage MCF devices. To do so, the scientists will work to generate deep understanding of underlying energetic particle dynamics, leading to unprecedented insight into solar corona heating and generation of solar wind.


Wave-particle interactions are ubiquitous in nature and play a fundamental role in astrophysical and fusion plasmas. In solar plasmas, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) fluctuations are thought to be responsible for the heating of the solar corona and the generation of the solar wind. In magnetically confined fusion (MCF) devices, enhanced particle transport induced by MHD fluctuations can deteriorate the plasma confinement, and also endanger the device integrity. MCF devices are an ideal testbed to verify current models and develop mitigation / protection techniques.

The proposed project paves the way for providing active control techniques to tame the MHD induced particle transport in a fusion plasma. A solid understanding of the interaction between energetic particles and MHD instabilities in the presence of electric fields and plasma currents is required to develop such techniques. I will pursue this goal through innovative diagnosis techniques with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. Combined with state-of-the-art hybrid MHD codes, a deep insight into the underlying physics mechanism will be gained. The outcome of this research project will have a major impact for next-step MCF devices as I will provide ground-breaking control techniques for mitigating MHD induced particle transport in magnetized plasmas.

The project consists of 3 research lines which follow a bottom-up approach:
(1) Cutting-edge instrumentation, aiming at the new generation of energetic particle and edge current diagnostics.
(2) Unravel the dynamics of energetic particles, electric fields, edge currents and MHD fluctuations.
(3) From lab to space weather: The developed models will revolutionize our understanding of the observed particle acceleration and transport in the solar corona.

Based on this approach, the project represents a gateway between the fusion, astrophysics and space communities opening new avenues for a common basic understanding.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 512 250,00
Calle s. fernando 4
41004 Sevilla

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Sur Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)