The successful candidate will investigate a confining effect due to plasma flow in a vacuum chamber (cylindrical or toroidal), on the inner surface of which there is a multipolar magnetic field, and how it can be exploited in a conceptual fusion device called the Plasma Storage Ring.

The effect concerned was discovered by Eugene Parker, who predicted that it would create an instability of the earth’s magnetopause – a convex surface – under the influence of the solar wind.  In a PSR, where the lines of the multipolar field also are convex towards the flowing plasma, the same effect would create a poloidal field that confines the plasma, thus eliminating the need for strong electromagnets outside the chamber; the electromagnets that create the multipolar field, much weaker than the confining field, can be inside or outside the chamber or even form part of its wall.

The project first entails detailed full simulations (kinetic, hybrid or MHD) in simple periodic slab geometries to confirm this theoretical prediction, as well as to quantify how the confinement improves as the flow speed increases.  A method for sustaining the flow has been conceived and will be investigated.  Cylindrical and toroidal geometries will inform on the potential performance and scaling properties of the Plasma Storage Ring.  These studies will lead to the construction of a computational model of a D-D reactor based on the PSR concept, with optimisation and characterisation of the model.

The successful candidate is expected to have a solid background in applied mathematics, modelling, physics and computing, with an interest to develop scientific code and to deploy simulations on high-performance computers.



PROJECT TITLE: Computational investigation of the possible importance of a little-known effect for the magnetic confinement of fusion plasmas

CLIENT: Meranti Research Laboratories

DISCIPLINE: Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science

SUPERVISOR: Dr David Pfefferle

PROJECT TYPE: Full-time HDR (PhD) – Candidate must be accepted into UWA PhD Candidature by the Graduate Research School

STUDENTSHIP: $48,600 per year for 3 years

DEADLINE: Expression of Interest – Aim is to start in 2024, subject to Admission by the GRS