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September 14th 2017
The extensive studies of MHD instabilities in thermonuclear magnetic confinement experiments, in particular of the tokamak as the most promising candidate for a future energy producing machine, have led to an ‘intuitive’ description based on the energy principle that is very misleading for most astrophysical plasmas. The ‘intuitive’ picture almost directly singles out the dominant stabilizing field line bending energy of the Alfven waves and, consequently, concentrates on expansion schemes that minimize that contribution.
September 7th 2017
In this seminar I will share my view on how the energy system might evolve: What is easy? What is difficult; What do we need to do or decide today? What can wait? All of this is ambiguous and widely differing views can sometimes result from subtly different assumptions about environment, technology and society. Scenarios are a useful way to explore these uncertainties and the resulting outcome-space.
September 6th 2017
Magnetic helicity, a measure for the linking and knotting of magnetic field lines, is a conserved quantity in Ideal MHD. In the presence of resistivity, helicity constrains the rate at which magnetic energy can be dissipated. When a localized, helical magnetic field is set to relax in a low-resistance high-beta plasma, the magnetic pressure drives the plasma to expand whilst the helicity is still approximately conserved.
July 13th 2017
For DEMO liquid metal plasma facing components are considered due to their resilience to erosion through flowed replacement, potential for cooling beyond conduction and inherent immunity to many of the issues of neutron loading compared to solid materials. The development curve of liquid metals is behind that of e.g. tungsten however and tokamak-based research is currently somewhat limited in scope. Therefore investigation in linear plasma devices can provide faster progress under controlled and well-diagnosed conditions in assessing many of the issues surrounding the use of liquid metals.
July 6th 2017
There is strong cosmological and astrophysical evidence that more than 85% of the matter in the Universe is composed of non-luminous --dark-- matter, which is fundamentally different from ordinary matter. Of the many candidate particles, Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), arising in extensions to the Standard Model, are particularly well-motivated. One method to detect WIMPs is to measure the nuclear recoils produced in their rare elastic collisions with ordinary matter.