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Graduate Student Seminar - 10/29/2010

"Spinning Plasma for Fusion"

by William Young

Friday, October 29, 2010 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Professor Adil Hassam

The prospect of achieving controlled thermonuclear fusion offers plentiful, clean energy; however, developing a method that can contain high temperature and high density plasmas necessary for fusion remains an ongoing challenge. The Maryland Centrifugal Experiment (MCX) examines a novel confinement method that combines a shaped magnetic field, known as a magnetic mirror, and centrifugal action of spinning plasma. In order to characterize the rotating plasma, the experiment has an array of diagnostics, including a spectrometer and two interferometers, that help us measure velocity, temperature, and density. These measurements are used as parameters in ideal magnetohydrodynamic theory, which predicts how magnetic fields evolve during plasma rotation. Comparisons of the theoretical predictions with magnetic field measurements show agreement and demonstrate confinement of the plasma.

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