I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Warwick and am now undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Roddy Vann. The title of my project is “Supercomputer simulations of microwave-plasma interactions”.
Microwaves are of great importance in tokamak plasmas. They are produced from the plasma electrons’ cyclotron emissions, the measurement of which can be used to provide spatially-localised temperature information. Microwave beams are also used in plasma heating and to drive currents. Due to the strong fluctuations of the tokamak plasma, some of which are of a comparable length scale to microwave wavelengths, the full interaction between microwaves and the plasma are not fully understood, so a full-wave code is needed to solve the problem numerically.
I will be using code developed at York, called EMIT-3D, to answer unsolved problems in microwave interactions with tokamak plasmas. Potential areas of interest are whether the heating beams on ITER will be scattered by turbulence in the plasma edge, and whether there are circumstances under which microwave heating beams can decay into other modes before they reach their intended absorption region.