Vinicius Duarte, Research Scientist, PPPL received Department of Energy, Early Career Research Award

Aug. 15, 2023

Vinicius Duarte, Research Scientist with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) received an Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy.  The awards are given to “support the research of outstanding scientists early in their careers. The program will support over 80 early career researchers for five years at U.S. academic institutions, DOE national laboratories, and Office of Science user facilities.”

Duarte’s abstract is below.  

Phase-space engineering of supra-thermal particle distribution for optimizing burning plasma scenarios by Dr. Vinicius Duarte, Research Scientist at te Theory Department of Princeton’s Plasma Physics Laboratory Princeton

This five-year project aims to design, validate and optimize the multiscale physics of self-consistent and numerically efficient reduced models of fast ion transport within whole device modeling with simultaneous radio frequency and neutral beam injection heating. Research activities include comprehensive exploration studies to engineer ways of minimizing energetic particle transport in order to maximize core fusion performance, using tools that build on recent developments in fundamental nonlinear kinetic theory and their associated numerical implementations. This proposal aims at leveraging those recent advances into practical macro-stability ramifications in NSTX-U and DIII-D, and high-fidelity transport projections to burning plasma conditions, such as those expected in ITER. The control and avoidance of energetic particle-driven magnetohydrodynamic instabilities are essential ingredients for achieving burning plasmas relevant to economical, high gain fusion reactors. Although ITER will employ comparable amounts of radio frequency and neutral beam injected heating power, the energetic particle transport under such a combined scenario still remains poorly understood. The overarching goal of this project is to deliver and exploit a validated, fully predictive and integrated fast ion transport workflow, accounting for both radio frequency and neutral beam injection heating sources, collisions and Alfvénic eigenmodes in different regimes of instability excitation. This project aims at delivering concrete solutions for integrated scenarios currently being studied in preparation for burning plasmas. Physical insights will be actively pursued to divert and mitigate deleterious fast ion phase space flows in NSTX-U, DIII-D, and ITER while simultaneously ensuring compatibility with macroscopic performance constraints. The successful demonstration of the proposed quantitative prediction of fast ion transport and combined neutral beam injection and radio frequency scenario development will potentially help to close the energetic particle gap for ITER burning plasmas.

Three recent Princeton researchers also received the award:

Chuanfei Dong, Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy and the Center for Space Physics, Boston University

Elizabeth Paul, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University

Derek Schaeffer, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA

Congratulations, Vinicius, Chuanfei, Elizabeth, and Derek.


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