Elijah Kolmes ’15
Innovative Fusion Confinement Concepts
The primary goal of my internship at PPPL was to study fast ion slowing-down rates in a background plasma. I used software called LSP to simulate fast ions slowing down under the conditions that might be found in a field-reversed configuration (FRC) device. FRCs are a potential alternative to the mainline approach to magnetic confinement, with a couple of significant advantages. Fast ion slowing-down is important to the performance of these devices. I measured the dependence of the slowing-down rate on a number of factors, including the charge of the fast ions and the density of the plasma. I also investigated a couple of different properties of the simulation software itself. In particular, LSP simplifies physical systems by clumping together individual particles into macroparticles, and I studied the implications that this had for our results. During this summer, I learned a great deal about computational plasma physics, and about scientific research in general. This project has reinforced my interest in pursuing physics research in the future.
Climate and Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ
Samuel Cohen, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory