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  • Top management | ITER Council appoints new Director-General

    Convening in an extraordinary session in Paris, the ITER Council has appointed Pietro Barabaschi as the next Director-General of the ITER Organization. Mr Barab [...]

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    In a first at ITER, the gates of the monumental worksite opened on Saturday 17 September for a family-only Open Doors Day event, reserved for the families of st [...]

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    Twenty-four electromagnetic wave generators called gyrotrons are at the heart of electron cyclotron resonance heating—the system on ITER that will ini [...]

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  • Fusion world | Science to resume at Wendelstein 7-X

    Improved equipment on Wendelstein 7-X will permit the stellarator device to achieve new scientific heights in a campaign planned to begin this autumn. Science a [...]

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    The 11th ITER International School concluded successfully in San Diego, USA, on 29 July after five days of lectures and discussions on the development of tokama [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Wendelstein achieves ultra-precise magnetic topology

A recent article in the online journal Nature Communications confirms that the complex topology of the magnetic field of Wendelstein 7-X—the world's largest stellarator—is highly accurate, with deviations from design configuration measured at fewer than 1-in-100,000.

To measure the magnetic field, the scientists launched an electron beam along the field lines. They next obtained a cross-section of the entire magnetic surface by using a fluorescent rod to intersect and sweep through the lines, thereby inducing fluorescent light in the shape of the surface. (Click to view larger version...)
To measure the magnetic field, the scientists launched an electron beam along the field lines. They next obtained a cross-section of the entire magnetic surface by using a fluorescent rod to intersect and sweep through the lines, thereby inducing fluorescent light in the shape of the surface.
In the complex shape of a stellarator, high engineering accuracy is needed because even the smallest magnetic field errors can have a large effect on the magnetic surfaces and the confinement of the plasma.

Wendelstein 7-X relies on a system of 50 non-planar and superconducting magnet coils to create a precisely shaped magnetic "cage" to confine the plasma for discharges of up to 30 minutes (projected). Following a first helium plasma in December 2015 and an initial hydrogen campaign with over 2,000 plasma pulses, the machine is now being prepared for high power operation at the Max-Planck-Institute für Plasmaphysik (IPP) in Germany.

Because a carefully tailored topology of nested magnetic surfaces is necessary for optimum confinement, the study's highly sensitive measurements provide welcome proof that such a topology is feasible and verifiable with the required accuracy.

Read the original article in Nature Communications.
Other reports at IPP and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, PPPL.


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