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Edge-localised Modes (ELMs)

Contact person: Ben Dudson and Howard Wilson


ELMsEdge-Localised Modes, or ELMs, are a series of repetitive, filamentary plasma eruptions that occur in high performance tokamak plasmas.

Under certain conditions, the turbulence at the edge of a tokamak plasma is suppressed, creating an insulating region that supports a high core plasma pressure. While this is good for fusion power, the high pressure gradient in the edge insulating region drives violent eruptions that eject filaments of hot plasma. These are called Edge Localised Modes, or ELMs - see figure for an image of ELMs on the MAST tokamak. If uncontrolled, these would cause excessive damage on next step tokamaks, like ITER. We perform theory and advanced simulations to understand the physics of ELMs and how to optimise control systems planned for ITER. For details of our research and relevant publications please click here.