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University of Wisconsin Physics Department

Research funding includes support from:

Department of Energy

National Science Foundation

The MST physics challenges are large and many, but much of our work is captured in the following four major RFP physics goals :

Discovering the lower limit to magnetic transport
Discovering the role of electrostatic transport
Determining the Beta Limit
Uncovering the physics of magnetic self-organization and links to astrophysics

To accomplish our physics goals we are developing techniques to apply controlled external power to the plasma — to control the current density profile, to heat the plasma, and to alter the flow. These techniques will enable us to investigate physics limits of the RFP and to study key phenomena in a controlled manner. Application of auxiliary power to the RFP is itself a research challenge. We have made substantial progress in the development of such techniques for the RFP, including the injection of neutral beams, rf waves, magnetic helicity, and frozen deuterium pellets. Most of these techniques are in the development stage; the first goal is to establish their feasibility for RFP application.