Thursday, February 18, 2016
Abstract: As magnetically confined plasmas approach the conditions required for fusion energy production, stellarator features become of increasing importance: (1) The feasibility of computer design, which can speed and reduce the cost of fusion energy development. (2) An intrinsically steady-state magnetic configuration. (3) Robust positional stability, which prevents tokamak-like disruptions. (4) A net plasma current that can be restricted to whatever level is required to avoid major runaway-electron issues. (5) A coil system that is potentially consistent with easy maintenance access to the plasma chamber. Stellarator magnetic fields must have a non-trivial dependence on all three spatial coordinates but offer about ten times as many useful degrees of freedom than the axisymmetric fields of tokamaks. Stellarators can be designed with a degree of control and certainty that is difficult to imagine from an axisymmetric perspective. Stellarator types, design principles, and possibilities will be discussed. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under Award No. DE-FG02-95ER54333.
Bio: Allen Boozer, a professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University, grew up in South Carolina and Virginia and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his doctorate from Cornell University, both in physics. He is best known for contributions to the theory of the interaction of plasmas with magnetic fields that depend on all three spatial coordinates and their application to stellarators, tokamaks, and magnetic reconnection. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a former chair of its Division of Plasma Physics. He was elected to Scientific Membership in the German Max Planck Society, and has received the Alfvén prize of the European Physical Society.