Marcus Law

University Of Liverpool

I am a Fusion CDT student based at the University of Liverpool. I studied my undergraduate MPhys degree at the University of York and became fascinated by plasma science and the work undertaken by the CDT programme. My project title is “Simultaneous Langmuir probe and laser Thomson scattering to aid understanding of tokamak edge plasmas” and is supervised by Prof. James Bradley and co supervised by Dr. Mark Bowden.

Langmuir probes are a powerful plasma diagnostic tool and have become a common low-cost technique to examine plasma properties. They give highly localised measurements on electron temperature, density, energy distribution and plasma potential. Thomson scattering is an accurate and non-intrusive diagnostic.

This experimental project focuses on replicating tokamak edge conditions using a magnetron discharge plasma on the previously developed plasma experiment at Liverpool. The first part of the project is to take ball park measurements on electron properties using conventional Langmuir probes and will be calibrated using the laser Thomson scattering methods. Later in the project, probe theory will be examined allowing more sophisticated theories to be developed. Redesign of the plasma source will be experimented with to achieve higher magnetic field strengths to study the effect of magnetised ions on probe characteristics.

The aim of this project is to increase the applicability of probes in low density, low temperature magnetised plasmas directly resembling tokamak edge conditions. This will be done by taking parallel Thomson and Langmuir measurements and examining probe theory, enabling probes to be used in tokamak edges.