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Fusion Laboratory - PHY00006M

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  • Department: Physics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kate Lancaster
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

A basic knowledge of the diagnostics, the type of data, and data analysis methods needed to interpret a magnetic and inertial confinement fusion experiment is provided. The basic diagnostics are a range of neutron, X-ray, magnetic field, and optical detectors that give spatially and/or temporally resolved measurements of a fusion experiment.


An introduction to the computer simulation of plasmas is obtained. The series of lectures in the first term gives a theoretical foundation for the techniques that will be practised in the laboratory in the second term. Students will learn about both continuum (fluid) and discrete (particle) techniques, and identify which techniques are appropriate for a variety of specific problems. During the first term students will gradually write a continuum code, submitting a minor project report at the end of the first term. In the second term computational laboratory, students will use a particle-in-cell code for their major project.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module successful students will be able to:

  • Programme in Python and other computer languages
  • Present scientific research in different formats
  • Outline diagnostic methodologies
  • Determine appropriate software tool(s) for analysis
  • Explain how different methodologies complement each other in providing a comprehensive description of an experiment
  • Apply advanced analysis techniques to experimental data
  • Determine limits of diagnostic techniques, including identifying spurious artefacts in data
  • Calculate key plasma parameters from raw data.
  • Distinguish between the following types of computational systems and identify which is relevant in a given scenario: linear vs nonlinear, initial value vs boundary value, particle vs continuum and fluid vs kinetic.
  • Describe the following computational algorithms: finite difference & flux conservative interpolations, Eulerian & Lagrangian grids and macroparticles with mean fields
  • Discuss the physical origin and numerical implementation of a collision operator
  • Write and apply a plasma particle-in-cell simulation code.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Computational Report
N/A 13
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Autumn Assignment
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Poster
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Spring Assignment
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Skills
N/A 19
Practical
Fusion Laboratory - Practical 1 Comp Lab
N/A 17

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Computational Report
N/A 13
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Autumn Assignment
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Poster
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Fusion Laboratory - Spring Assignment
N/A 17
Essay/coursework
Skills
N/A 19
Practical
Fusion Laboratory - Practical 1 Comp Lab
N/A 17

Module feedback

Feedback on experiments and programming is given by demonstrators in laboratory classes. Posters receive feedback upon evaluation.

Indicative reading

IH Hutchinson Principles of Plasma diagnostics, Cambridge 2001

MAST Wiki

Toshiki Tajima, Computational Plasma Physics: With Applications to Fusion and Astrophysics (Westview Press 2004)

C. K. Birdsall and A. B. Langdon, Plasma Physics Via Computer Simulation (IoP 1991)

A. Iserles, A First Course in the Numerical Analysis of Differential Equations (CUP 1996)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students