DOE News
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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2018-06-07 13:05:24
    • Article ID: 695549

    Seeing All the Colors of the Plasma Wind

    2-D velocity imaging helps fusion researchers understand the role of ion winds (aka flows) in the boundary of tokamak plasmas.

    • Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

      Coherence imaging measurement of the line-integrated velocity of carbon ion winds (aka flows) in the boundary of a high-performance DIII-D plasma. Velocity datasets are mostly from near the center of the machine where the ion light is brightest. Red denotes positive velocity (into the page) whereas blue is negative velocity.

    The Science

    When it comes to plasma winds in a tokamak, researchers are always looking for the Goldilocks solution—one that is just right. Winds that are too high or too low can reduce plasma efficiency. Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Center are using a new type of imaging to help get the wind moving at just the right speed. Plasma winds are more commonly referred to as flows. Researchers are using coherence imaging to better understand the velocities of ions in the flow. The results will help design effective exhaust solutions. These solutions will improve fusion plasma performance and raise efficiency.

    The Impact

    Flows with speeds over 40 kilometers/second can transport heat and particles long distances in the boundary plasma of a fusion tokamak. When these flows are traveling too fast, or if they become stagnant, they can hurt plasma performance by allowing the buildup of impurities. Characterizing both impurity and main-ion flows with coherence imaging offers greater spatial detail than previous methods. It enables the detailed model/experiment comparison needed to improve models. In addition to greater spatial detail, the imaging datasets offer insights on extremely hot as well as high-performance plasmas. Scientists can use the datasets to investigate complex 3-D flows.

    Summary

    Coherence imaging measures red- and blue-shifted emission from ions radiating in the visible spectrum by combining an interferometer with a fast camera. The resulting images are used to calculate the velocity throughout the camera’s field of view. The resulting datasets benchmark sophisticated fluid modeling of the tokamak’s plasma divertor.

    In this study, researchers compared 2-D helium ion velocities in the scrape-off-layer and divertor regions of the DIII-D tokamak to state-of-the-art fluid modeling simulations using a sophisticated code. The velocity of singly charged helium ions traveling along magnetic field lines was predicted well by the model in the region close to the divertor plate where He+ is the dominant ion, and electron-physics dominates the momentum balance. Further upstream, where doubly charged helium (He2+) is the main ion species and ion physics becomes more important, fluid modeling underestimates the velocity by a factor of 2 to 3. These results indicate that better understanding is required to predict the ion population’s behavior in these challenging conditions and that there is still much to be learned about the role of ions in the tokamak divertor.

    Funding

    This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, using the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility. DIII-D data shown in this paper can be obtained in digital format by following the links at https://fusion.gat.com/global/D3D_DMP.

    Publications

    C.M. Samuell, G.D. Porter, W.H. Meyer, T.D. Rognlien, S.L. Allen, A. Briesemeister, A.G. Mclean, L. Zeng, A.E. Jaervinen, and J. Howard, “2D imaging of helium ion velocity in the DIII-D divertor.” Physics of Plasmas 25, 056110 (2018). [DOI: 10.1063/1.5017999]

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    Missing gamma-ray blobs shed new light on dark matter, cosmic magnetism

    Scientists, including researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have compiled the most detailed catalog of such blobs using eight years of data collected with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. The blobs, including 19 gamma-ray sources that weren't known to be extended before, provide crucial information on how stars are born, how they die, and how galaxies spew out matter trillions of miles into space.

    Applying Auto Industry's Fuel-Efficiency Standards to Agriculture Could Net Billions in Corn Sector, Researchers Conclude

    Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded in a new analysis.

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    Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

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    Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency

    Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then emits light in the near-infrared range. Now a team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has confirmed the pigment's fluorescence can be 10 times stronger than previously thought.

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    Columbia Engineers Build Smallest Integrated Kerr Frequency Comb Generator

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    Scientists Present New Clues to Cut Through the Mystery of Titan's Atmospheric Haze

    Experiments at Berkeley Lab helped scientists zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn's largest moon.


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    Prototype Solar Energy, Battery Systems to Fuel Commercialization

    Designing, building and testing prototype systems that show how renewable energy can power devices, such as a weather and soil sensor station, can help bridge the gap between basic science research and commercialization.

    Argonne to Advance High Performance Computing in Manufacturing

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    "Invisible Glass" Wins 2018 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Prize

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    Missouri S&T researchers win multimillion dollar grant to build fast-charging stations for electric cars

    Researchers from Missouri S&T and three private companies will combine their expertise to create charging stations for electric vehicles that could charge a car in less than 10 minutes - matching the time it takes to fill up a conventional vehicle with gasoline."The big problem with electric vehicles is range, and it's not so much range as range anxiety.

    Making batteries store more energy, last longer

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    Three Brookhaven Lab Scientists Named Fellows of American Physical Society

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    Southern Research first to win accreditation under ISO 14034

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    Kawtar Hafidi to head Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate at Argonne

    Physicist Kawtar Hafidi has been appointed Associate Laboratory Director, Physical Sciences and Engineering at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

    Argonne researchers honored by Energy Secretary's awards program

    A select group of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory was recently recognized for their contributions to infrastructure security and nuclear nonproliferation at the Secretary's Honor Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on August 29.

    PPPL's Sam Cohen earns award at meeting of U.S. government-funded laboratories hosted by PPPL

    PPPL physicist Sam Cohen and a local company win a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for a rocket propulsion technology.


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    How to Make Soot and Stardust

    Scientists unlock mystery that could help reduce emissions of fine particles from combustion engines and other sources.

    Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces

    Scientists improve our understanding of the relationship between fundamental forces by re-creating the earliest moments of the universe.

    Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals

    Water molecules line up tiny particles to attach and form minerals; understanding how this happens impacts energy extraction and storage along with waste disposal.

    Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow

    First direct measurement show how heavy particles containing a charm quark get caught up in the flow of early universe particle soup.

    Seeing Between the Atoms

    New detector enables electron microscope imaging at record-breaking resolution.

    Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene

    New method can make films of atomically thin carbon that are over a foot long.

    Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas

    U.S. and Korean scientists show how to find and use beneficial 3-D field perturbations to stabilize dangerous edge-localized modes in plasma.

    New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features

    A new approach to atom probe tomography promises more precise and accurate measurements vital to semiconductors used in computers, lasers, detectors, and more.

    Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars

    Scientists can now measure 3-D structures of tiny particles with properties that hold promise for advanced sensors and diagnostics.

    Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter

    Particle flow patterns suggest even small-scale collisions create drops of early universe quark-gluon plasma.


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