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Events on Monday, September 25th, 2023

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
"The high-field, compact mirror path to fusion"
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Place: 1610 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Prof. Cary Forest, UW-Madison Physics/ Realta
Abstract: In this talk I will provide a brief introduction to the compact magnetic mirror path to building a fusion energy system based on the tandem mirror. This approach relies on recent game changing physics results from axisymmetric mirror experiments [1] and the revolution in engineering high field magnets using high temperature superconductor materials. Our Wisconsin centric development path was started through ARPA-E sponsorship at the UW of WHAM (the Wisconsin HTS Axisymmetric Mirror) — I will begin a status report of the construction of WHAM including magnets (first successful tests of the 17 T magnets at CFS) and preparation of WHAM's heating systems (ECH, NBI and RF) and MHD stabilization systems. I will then review the theoretical physics basis for the fusion performance of WHAM that has relied on CQL3D Fokker Plank solutions for the fast ions injected by neutral beams and then heated by rf reported in a recent paper by Endrizzi [2]. The next phase along the development path will be carried out by a public-private partnership lead by an early stage startup, Realta Fusion. Realta is now beginning the engineering design activity of BEAM (a Break Even Axisymmetric Mirror) that will be a several MW DT device with Q approaching 1. Its purpose is two-fold, first it will provide the physics validation needed predict the performance of tandem mirror end plugs and second it will be well-suited to operate as a Fusion Volumetric Neutron Source (FVNS) for demonstrating heat removal and tritium breeding technology and described in Forest et al [3].

1 Simonen, T. C. et al, Three Game Changing Discoveries: A Simpler Fusion Concept? J Fusion Energ 35, 63–68 (2016).
2 Endrizzi, D. et al, Physics Basis for the Wisconsin HTS Axisymmetric Mirror Experiment, accepted in J Plasma Physics, (2023).
3 Forest, C.B et al, Prospects for a Break Even Axisymmetric Mirror (BEAM) and Applications, submitted to J Plasma Physics (2023).
Host: Prof. Steffi Diem
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