Glen Wurden, Ph.D.
Leader, Magnetized Plasma Team
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. Glen Wurden (P-24 Plasma Physics) leads the LANL part of the US Collaboration on the superconducting “Wendelstein” W7-X stellarator at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. This is an ongoing effort which began in 2011, while W7-X was under construction, and involves Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Princeton, U of Wisconsin, MIT, and Auburn University. First plasma operation occurred in late 2015, and since then hydrogen plasma operation with pulses up to 100 seconds in duration have been conducted. The US is focused on physics with 3D magnetics and optimization of power flows in the plasma edge. We have contributed a number of hardware and diagnostic systems, as well as physicists, engineers and students. Presently the machine is down for installation of full water-cooled armor, which will enable pulses up to 30 minutes in duration in the coming years. In this talk, we will go through the differences between tokamaks and stellarators, the goals for fusion research on W7-X, how W7-X has been optimized, and what the plasma looks like as seen by a host of plasma diagnostics. When the next campaign (OP2.0) starts in 2021 (dependent on Covid issues), a new US-provided steady-state hydrogen ice pellet injector for fuelling studies will be available, as well as more powerful heating systems. A joint LANL/German/Japan infrared imaging bolometer, to study plasma radiation above the diverter structures will be newly online too.
Materials Science & Engineering Dept.