Magnetic Compression and Stability of Spheromaks

The objective of a fusion device is to confine a plasma and heat it to a temperative high enough for its ions to gain sufficient energy to overcome their mutually repulsive force and fuse. Fusion neutrons will provide a heat souce that's used to generate electricity in a steam cycle. Fusion power is environmentally friendly and the fuel source is abundant. A spheromak is a toroidal plasma configuration that has internal currents to maintain the magnetic field that keeps it together. Several methods are used to compress spheromaks at General Fusion. Sufficient compression can cause the conditions to vary, instabilities that cause the spheromak to lose confimenent may develop. The magnetic compression experiment at General Fusion had the aim of producing spheromaks and then compressing them with an external pulsed magnetic field. During compression, the properties of plasma must be monitored to gain insights to mechanisms that can be implemented to optimize the compression process while maintaining the stability of the spheromak. The project will contribute to and advance existing spheromak technology at General Fusion.

Carl Dunlea
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Akira Hirose
Project Year: 
British Columbia