Applied and fundamental aspects of fusion science

Fusion research is driven by the applied goal of energy production from fusion reactions. There is, however, a wealth of fundamental physics to be discovered and studied along the way. This Commentary discusses selected developments in diagnostics and present-day research topics in high-temperature plasma physics.

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Figure 1: The T-3A tokamak at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy.
Figure 2: Schematic of the working principle of a heavy-ion beam probe and photo of the corresponding hardware in the T-10 tokamak at the NRC 'Kurchatov Institute' (Moscow, Russia).
Figure 3: Geodesic acoustic modes (zonal flow) in a magnetically confined plasma.
Figure 4: GAMs in a magnetically confined plasma.
Figure 5: Observation of Alfvén eigenmodes in an ECR- and NBI-heated discharge in the TJ-II stellarator (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain).
Figure 6: Power spectral density (PSD) of the magnetic perturbations caused by chirping modes, excited by energetic particles in fusion plasmas.


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This study was exclusively financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project 14-22-00193. I acknowledge the long-term collaboration between NRC 'Kurchatov Institute', Russia, Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology, Ukraine, and CIEMAT, Spain and the joint HIBP team.

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Correspondence to Alexander V. Melnikov.

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Melnikov, A. Applied and fundamental aspects of fusion science. Nature Phys 12, 386–390 (2016).

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