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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Fusion Energy Research at the Next Frontier: Integrating Optimized Plasma Confinement with Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering

The next grand challenge in fusion energy sciences is the understanding and control of the interactions between high temperature plasmas and the surrounding solid material systems under extreme conditions. This project will define the mission, scope, and pre-conceptual design of a new magnetic plasma confinement facility to enable studies on plasma confinement optimization with the coupled plasma-materials interface at requisite heat and particle fluxes.

A key feature of this initiative will be the coupling of this expertise with elements of the material science and advanced manufacturing research communities on campus and elsewhere. An additionalgrand challenge in fusion energy sciences is understanding and controlling the anomalous transport of energy and particles arising from saturated nonlinear turbulence in magnetically confined fusion plasmas. This is done here by careful design of the externally controlled 3-D magnetic fields. At the same time, interactions between these high temperature plasmas and the surrounding solid material systems must be managed under extreme conditions. This is an environment rich in physical phenomena with relevance and applications far beyond the fusion energy goal. With its expertise in plasmas, material sciences and high-temperature environments, the UW–Madison can lead academic research over the next decade to address this challenge.

Principal Investigator

  • David Anderson
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Co-Principal Investigators

  • Raymond Fonck
    Professor of Engineering Physics
  • Chris Hegna
    Professor of Engineering Physics
  • John Sarff
    Professor of Physics
  • Oliver Schmitz
    Associate Professor of Engineering Physics
  • Carl Sovinec
    Professor of Engineering Physics