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This content will become publicly available on January 30, 2019

Title: Centrifugal particle confinement in mirror geometry

The use of supersonic rotation of a plasma in mirror geometry has distinct advantages for thermonuclear fusion. The device is steady state, there are no disruptions, the loss cone is almost closed, sheared rotation stabilizes magnetohydrodynamic instabilities as well as plasma turbulence, there are no runaway electrons, and the coil configuration is simple. In this work, we examine the effect of rotation on mirror confinement using a full cyclotron orbit code. The full cyclotron simulations give a much more complete description of the particle energy distribution and losses than the use of guiding center equations. Both collisionless loss as a function of rotation and the effect of collisions are investigated. Although the cross field diffusion is classical, we find that the local rotating Maxwellian is increased to higher energy, increasing the fusion rate and also enhancing the radial diffusion. We find a loss channel not envisioned with a guiding center treatment, but a design can be chosen that can satisfy the Lawson criterion for ions. Of course, the rotation has a minimal effect on the alpha particle birth distribution, so there is initially loss through the usual loss cone, just as in a mirror with no rotation. However after thismore » loss, the alphas slow down on the electrons with little pitch angle scattering until reaching low energy, so over half of the initial alpha energy is transferred to the electrons. The important problem of energy confinement, with losses primarily through the electron channel, is not addressed in this work. In conclusion, we also discuss the use of rotating mirror geometry to produce an ion thruster.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States). Plasma Physics Lab.
  2. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics
  3. Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1418723