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Instability Studies on a Spherical Inertial Electrostatic Confinement

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Milorad B. Popovic
Updated by:
Milorad B. Popovic
Document Created:
09 Jan 2007, 09:27
Contents Revised:
09 Jan 2007, 09:27
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09 Jan 2007, 09:27
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The spherical Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) concept offers an alternative fusion plasma confinement scheme, where charged particles are accelerated and confined electrostatically with a series of biased spherical concentric electrodes. The inertia of the accelerated ions compresses the ions and builds up the space charge at the center of the cathode grid, creating a series of deep virtual electrostatic potential wells which confine the ions into a small volume where an appreciable number of nuclear fusion reactions could occur. It is very attractive for a power plant due to its mechanical simplicity and high power-to-mass ratio. It provides a favorable development path for neutron source. However, various stability issues must be resolved before reactor feasibility can be established. In order to evaluate IEC concept, it is essential to develop a reliable and flexible instability analysis method for equilibrium plasma in a potential well. As a part of this study, methods are sought to avoid or suppress any destructive instabilities. Methods to be explored include modification/control of the well profile, control of the electron to ion beam density ratio, control of the angular momentum of the beam, etc. For this purpose, a perturbative (delta-f) particle simulation techniques for a kinetic analysis is applied to simulate completely the dynamic evolution of perturbed Vlasov-Poisson equations, and, in addition, to achieve much more accurate simulations of the nonlinear dynamics using less simulation particles compared to conventional Particle-in-Cell (PIC) method. This model is used to study the behavior of two-stream-like instabilities related to the trapped spherically converging ions. Then, stability of boundaries in various operating parameter spaces is described.

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AD Seminar held on 28 Sep 2006 in 1 West
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