Bhavin Patel

University Of York

My project is title ‘In Search of Compact Routes to Fusion’, which is being supervised by Dr David Dickinson and Prof. Howard Wilson.

The size of a fusion device is determined to a large extent by how effectively the deuterium-tritium mix fuel can be confined by the magnetic field. Plasma turbulence driven by small scale micro-instabilities is the main transport process that degrades confinement, and is a major driver for the size of a fusion device. In this project I will explore the impact of different magnetic topologies on the micro-instabilities, their associated turbulence and the resulting transport. We know that these are influenced by plasma flows and by a parameter called beta, which is the ratio of the thermal energy stored in the plasma to the energy in the magnetic field confining that plasma. Spherical tokamaks have a magnetic geometry that provides access to high flows and high beta, so my attention will be focused on these. Although this is largely a theoretical and computational project, that will exploit some of the largest supercomputers in the world, I will work closely with experimentalists working on the MAST-U spherical tokamak at Culham Science Centre. This will provide valuable tests of our models and predictions, and enhance the impact of our research.