Our recent collaboration selected as featured paper in Physics of Plasmas

Since the theoretical description of the three-ion scheme back in 2015 [1], the scheme has been tested and proven in several fusion devices such as Alcator C-Mod, JET and AUG. The main idea underlying this radiofrequency (RF) scheme comes from the polarization of the wave. In essence, what is sought, is the maximization of the electric field component that rotates as the ions do around the magnetic field. This condition is typically reached when the resonance location of the minority ion species coincides with the so-called L-cutoff of the wave. The result? A highly dominant ion absorption of the wave and a very energetic ion distribution.

We are very happy to announce that the recently published paper Physics and applications of three-ion ICRF scenarios for fusion research has been selected as a featured paper in the prestigious Physics of Plasmas journal, where two members of our group, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart, have collaborated. The paper presents many of the advances on this scheme during these last years, especially from the experimental point of view and the developed theoretical framework.

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Our contributions to the historic fusion experiments at Joint European Torus (JET)

View from the control room of the JET tokamak during an experiment (picture from the pre-covid era)

The fusion community is living interesting times as the Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) campaign at the Joint European Torus (JET, UK) approaches. This is the type of plasma with the greatest fusion cross section and, therefore, the one with the highest chances of providing commercial fusion energy. This campaign will serve as a testbed for ITER‘s future experiments, the experimental fusion reactor that should provide 10 times the energy which is actually used to operate the machine. 

One of the main focus of study for the fusion community is the so-called isotope effect. This is the impact that different atomic masses of the hydrogen (H) isotope, D and T, have on the plasma behaviour, or more precisely, on its confinement.  At the moment, such valuable experiments can only be done at JET. There is a big international team conducting these experiments, however, we would like to emphasize in this post the role of some of the Spanish scientists involved in these experiments and, in particular, the role of our Fusion Group members, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart. The role of these scientists is different in each case, nevertheless, the final goal is always the same, make fusion energy a reality some day.

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Our recent papers published in open-access RF Topical Conference Proceedings

The RF Topical Conference is held every two years by a different host. Last year it took place at Hefei, China. From our Fusion Group Dr Dani Gallart had the chance to participate to the event; you can read more about his experience in this earlier post.

The RF Topical Conference tackles several radio-frequency topics in plasmas such as: experiments, modelling, interactions of wave and plasma edge and other related subjects. Recently, the conference contributions from the 2019 edition have been  published in the AIP Conference Proceedings and are in open-access. The Fusion Group has contributed to a total of 6 papers which are briefly described in the following:

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Our student finishes his final degree project with flying colours!

Eric’s online defence of the final degree project.

Mr Eric Planas arrived to the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in early February as an undergraduate student seeking for an attractive topic for his final degree project. We are happy to announce that after 6 months he is now a graduate student and he has finished his bachelor studies in the best possible way… with flying colours!

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The Fusion Group is getting bigger!

It has been 4 months since the beginning of the confinement. Barcelona was stricken by the CoVid-19 as was the rest of the world. Fortunately, things are getting better and Barcelona ended the confinement the 21st of June together with the rest of Spain. It has been a difficult time for many who have seen their lifestyle seriously affected and their jobs frozen or even worse, cancelled. We still do not know what the economical magnitude of this situation will be or how the world is planning to recover from this.

However, the Fusion Group feels deeply privileged as our work has not been cancelled nor stopped at any point. We have been and are working remotely (from home), following the recommendations of the government. The main European fusion projects under EUROfusion we are working with, JET and AUG, have recently resumed their experimental activities and the modelling efforts have been increased during the confinement. Furthermore, in order to cover all the projects where the Fusion Group is involved, two new researchers have been recruited: Dr. Francisco Fernández and Dr. Julio Gutiérrez. They will work within the Ris3Cat FusionCAT project.

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