
Course unit
PHYSICS OF NUCLEAR FUSION AND PLASMA APPLICATIONS
SCP7081798, A.A. 2018/19
Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18
ECTS: details
Type 
ScientificDisciplinary Sector 
Credits allocated 
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines 
FIS/03 
Material Physics 
6.0 
Course unit organization
Period 
First semester 
Year 
2nd Year 
Teaching method 
frontal 
Type of hours 
Credits 
Teaching hours 
Hours of Individual study 
Shifts 
Lecture 
6.0 
48 
102.0 
No turn 
Start of activities 
01/10/2018 
End of activities 
18/01/2019 
Examination board
Examination board not defined
Prerequisites:

Knowledge of electromagnetism principles. A knowledge of the different plasma descriptions (kinetic, twofluids, magnetohydrodynamics) is useful but not required, since essential notions will be provided during the course. 
Target skills and knowledge:

The first part of the course wants to give an overview of the issues regarding the possible use of controlled thermonuclear fusion as an energy source. The treatment will be focused on the "magnetic confinement" method, which is the one used in the framework of the European Fusion Programme. In the second part some notions on lowtemperature plasmas used in industrial applications will be provided, and some of these applications will be described. 
Examination methods:

Oral examination 
Course unit contents:

First part: Nuclear fusion: main processes, cross sections, reactivity. Energy balance of a fusion reactor, breakeven, ignition. Magnetic confinement and inertial confinement. Toroidal configurations for magnetic confinement. The tokamak configuration. Conceptual scheme of the reactor. MHD equilibria in cylindrical geometry, zpinch, screwpinch. MHD equilibria in toroidal geometry, flux functions, GradShafranov equation. Safety factor, toroidal and poloidal beta. Tokamak operational limits: Hugill diagram, Greenwald limit, beta limit. Scaling laws for confinement time, Lmode and Hmode. Plasma heating: ohmic, with neutral beams, with radiofrequency. Outer region of the plasma, concepts of limiter and divertor. Formal analogy between magnetic field line trajectories and orbits of a Hamiltonian system. Alternative confinement schemes: stellarator and RFP. Status of fusion research: the ITER project. Safety and environmental impact of the fusion reactor.
Second part: Introduction to plasma applications. Methods of plasma formation. Planar diode model, ChildLangmuir law. Debye sheath, Bohm criterion, floating potential. Langmuir probe and its use to measure plasma properties. Double and triple probes. Radiofrequency discharges, capacitive and inductive coupling. Atmospheric pressure plasmas. Applications: "plasma medicine" applications, plasma propulsion for space applications. 
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings) 


