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Alfvén wave heating, improved confinement regimes, and stability studies in the Tcabr Tokamak


Relevant physical processes that occur in hot plasmas, which are used both for controlled thermonuclear fusion research and for modern technological applications, are investigated. Among the main research topics, emphasis is placed on the use of Alfvén waves for plasma heating, non-inductive current drive, generation of transport barriers, in tokamaks, and cleaning of archeological metallic artefacts by hot plasmas.The experimental investigation of fusion relevant processes is carried out in the TCABR tokamak, which is the most advanced magnetic confinement device in Latin-America. The work on Alfvén waves has already clearly demonstrated localized electron heating in a tokamak plasma, for the first time at the international level. It is presently planned to increase substantially the radio frequency power coupled to the plasma, to investigate the RF generation of transport barriers for improved energy confinement scenarios in fusion reactors. In the new regime of runaway discharges discovered in TCABR, discharges with currents up to 100 kA are maintained in a low-temperature plasma by a beam of relativistic electrons, with energies of the order of 5 MeV. In this project, the generation mechanisms of these electrons and the associated non-linear kinetic instabilities are investigated in detail. Finally, the main plasma technological applications investigated are the cleaning of archeological metallic artefacts and the deposition of thin films of aluminum, boron, and carbon nitrides over various substrates. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
La energía de las estrellas 
Energy from the stars 
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