The Plasma Diagnostic Group is deeply involved in fusion energy research. Based upon the confinement of hot ionized gases known as plasmas the goal is to produce usable energy with a virtually endless supply of raw materials (heavy hydrogen/deuterim from sea water and triitum from breeding). This is an excitng area of research and even more exciting with the constructuion of the ITER tokamak fusion reator in France - designed to reach breakeven fusion reaction levels.
At left are pictured: DIII-D (U.S., upper left); NSTX-U (U.S., upper right); EAST (China, lwer left); and ITER (international, under construction, lower right).
The Group develops cutting edge diagnostics for use on fusion experiments around the world. We use these diagnostic instruments to perform experiments that challenge theory and our understanding. Relative size of machines can be seen by standard size man indicated by a red arrow or circled in red.
Measurements include density, temperature and magnetic turbulence and flow in the core of the plasma (temperatures of order 1 million degrees), and average density and temperature profiles.
There are many exciting research opportunities for both graduate students and postdoctoral scholars available with the Group on these fusion devices.