Physics Winter 2020 Seminar Series: Jeff Black
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 3:15pm

The PSU Physics Department will be holding our 3rd seminar for the Winter 2020 series this coming Monday, February 10th, 2020. 

Our guest speaker will be Jeff Black from our very own Portland State University!

Date: Monday, February 10th
Location: SB1-107 at 3:15pm

Topic:  "A study of inertial electrostatic fusion devices using a finite volume scheme for the 1D Vlasov equation"


While the majority of fusion energy research is focused on magnetic confinement methods such as tokamaks, there are several alternative confinement methods aimed at the development of smaller and less expensive reactors. A number of these alternative reactors are based on a spherically convergent beam of recirculating ions, and include designs such as inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC), multi-grid IEC, and the periodically oscillating plasma sphere (POPS) concept. We are interested in the possibility of the self-organization of the particle distributions and the use of beam modulation to enhance these effects. In order to study these spherically-convergent systems, we have developed a GPU-based solver which simulates the interactions between the charged particles, their self-consistent fields, and the neutral background gas. This is done by using a finite-volume method to solve the Vlasov equation, which describes the time evolution of the phase-space distribution function of a plasma. This project is part of ongoing research in the Sánchez lab at PSU, and complements experimental work in designing an ion-injected, RF-modulated multigrid IEC reactor. So far, this model has had some success predicting the fusion rate and efficiency of some early IEC experimental results, and will be used to optimize the design of our experimental device.