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Presented By: Department of Physics

Physics Graduate Summer Symposium | Z-Pinch Research in Pursuit of Fusion Energy

Akash Shah, 5th-year grad student (UM Applied Physics; Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences)

Fusion energy research is primarily aimed at creating conditions in a plasma in which the energy output of the system exceeds the energy input. Various mechanisms have been developed to study such systems including magnetic confinement schemes (e.g., tokamaks and stellarators) and inertial confinement schemes (e.g., direct-drive fusion, indirect-drive fusion, and magnetized-liner fusion). The magnetized-liner inertial fusion or MagLIF experiment, developed for the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories, uses a combination of energetic lasers (2 KJ) and powerful current pulses (80 TW) to heat and compress fusion fuel with an axisymmetric geometry called a z-pinch. University-scale z-pinch experiments such as on the MAIZE Linear Transformer Driver (LTD) at the University of Michigan can inform the high-value experiments carried out on the Z machine. MAIZE allows for studying z-pinch dynamics and energetics such as the effects of initial conditions on instability formation, current distribution, and x-ray and fusion neutron output in the z-pinch. This talk presents a general overview of the state of fusion research, focuses on MagLIF as an inertial confinement fusion scheme, and examines university-scale z-pinch experiments as tools to study the complex physics involved.

Zoom Link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95412705230 Passcode: 055118

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