Jeudi 12 janvier 2017 à 11h
Ecole Polytechnique, Salle de conférence du CPhT, Bâtiment 06
SPC-EPFL, Lausanne, Suisse
MHD instabilities : from tokamaks to stellarators
We will explore different aspects of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities in tokamaks and stellarators. Both devices require a helical magnetic field to efficiently confine a hot fusion plasma in a torus. External coils generate a main field of the order of 2-4 T. Tokamaks generate the second component of the field using a large electric current in the plasma itself. Stellarators however generate all the field using only external coils. This gives rise to different kinds of instabilities in both devices, mainly current driven in tokamaks, mainly pressure driven (Rayleigh-Taylor like) in stellarators. We will review some theoretical issues related to the MHD stability in both tokamaks and stellarators. We will see why they are crucial in practice, in view of future experiments such as ITER. We will also try to give a taste of the numerical challenge faced by whoever tries to simulate the complex nonlinear behavior of such plasmas.