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  • richardmitnick 2:37 pm on December 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A cage full of antimatter, , Dr Eve Stenson uses spare parts to demonstrate the structure of the prototype trap, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, The APEX (A Positron-Electron Experiment) group at the IPP aims to create a matter-antimatter plasma of electrons and their antiparticles – known as positrons – and to confine it in a magnetic cag   

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics: “A cage full of antimatter” 

    MPIPP bloc

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

    December 07, 2018

    The APEX (A Positron-Electron Experiment) group at the IPP aims to create a matter-antimatter plasma of electrons and their antiparticles – known as positrons – and to confine it in a magnetic cage for the first time. To do this, they first need to transport the charged particles into a magnetic field cage. The researchers have now achieved their objective using an almost lossless method, as reported in Physical Review Letters by IPP scientist Dr Eve Stenson, first author of the publication. They succeeded in confining the positrons in the magnetic trap for more than a second, as described in a second article by Dr Julia Horn-Stanja, also from the IPP, and her co-authors Physical Review Letters.

    1
    Dr Eve Stenson uses spare parts to demonstrate the structure of the prototype trap: in the centre is the permanent magnet, the wire on the left represents a probe that can be inserted into the trap. It allows researchers to determine the quantity of injected particles successfully captured inside the magnetic field. Photo: IPP, Axel Griesch

    Up to these good results, a great deal of research was needed. For the same mechanism that holds charged particles in the magnetic cage also prevents them from entering the cage from the outside. Instead, the particles are deflected away from the trap. Moreover, the particles must be injected into the trap as loss-free as possible, because positrons – unlike electrons – are not available in unlimited quantities; they are obtained in a complicated production process. This is the job of NEPOMUC, the world’s most powerful positron source, which is located in Garching at the FRM II Research Neutron Source of the Technical University of Munich.

    To overcome this challenge, researchers performed extensive simulations and then verified them experimentally: a tailor-made electric field at the edge of the magnetic trap ensures that the charged particles can drift into the trap across the magnetic field lines. The electric field is then switched off and the particles are trapped in the magnetic field. An opposite example of this effect is seen in fusion research: electric fields, which can form spontaneously in the plasma, cause unwanted drifting of particles out of the confining magnetic cage – a particle loss which fusion researchers prevent by use a variety of countermeasures.

    The current experiments used a prototype trap with a simple permanent magnet, which was attached to NEPOMUC. To generate an electron-positron plasma, however, the APEX group is working on a superconducting dipole that floats in the middle of a vacuum chamber without touching the walls and generates the confining magnetic field. The desired matter-antimatter plasmas of electrons and positrons are thought to exhibit extraordinary properties. As they are assumed to occur in the vicinity of neutron stars and black holes, these peculiar plasmas represent an interesting topic of study not only in basic research but also in astrophysics.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP)is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association.

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:33 pm on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Digitalization & Research/New Graduate School for Data Science in Munich, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), Max Planck Computing & Data Facility (MPCDF), Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, MuDS,   

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics: Digitalization & Research/New Graduate School for Data Science in Munich ( MuDS) 

    MPIPP bloc

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

    November 05, 2018
    Joint Press Release – Helmholtz Zentrum München, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics IPP, German Aerospace Center DLR, Technical University of Munich TUM and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München LMU
    More information
    Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik
    Press office
    Phone:+49 89 3299-2607Fax:+49 89 3299-2622
    info@ipp.mpg.de

    As a result of digitalization, research is producing ever larger and more complex data sets. While these hold great potential for example for biomedicine, energy research, geo-research or robotics, they also need to be managed and interpreted. To address this need, the Munich School for Data Science @ Helmholtz, TUM & LMU (MuDS) has been established to train the next generation of researchers, who will tackle ‘big data’ problems. Over the next six years, the new graduate school will receive a total of twelve million euros in funding.

    1
    An example for machine learning: More than 200 detectors, which are arranged around the plasma, observe the X-ray light emitted by the plasma along different lines of sight. The large data volume recorded (left side) then is computationally assembled into a two-dimensional image of the plasma cross-section (right side). This allows to see exactly where the X-ray radiation was emitted in the hot plasma. For the fast computational transformation of the data a specially developed neural network was used. Graphic: IPP, Florian Hendrich

    The school was founded by the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). The Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) and the Max Planck Computing & Data Facility (MPCDF), two major computing and data centers in the Munich region, are also associated to MuDS.

    “Big challenges call for big solutions. We are delighted that we have managed to bring together these key players of the Munich metropolitan region for this project,” explains Professor Fabian Theis, Helmholtz Zentrum München/TUM, who will be the responsible coordinator of MuDS. The aim of MuDS is to combine training in methodological aspects with training in application domain areas, namely biomedicine, plasma physics, robotics and earth observation, to educate the next generation of data scientists. Data is increasing in volume and complexity, yet there is a shortage of experts to analyze it using the best methods possible, as the following sample illustrates: every single cell in our body contains about three billion DNA base pairs. That is equivalent to a library of 3,000 books, each with 1,000 pages, on each of which 1,000 letters are printed – and this is genetic information of only one cell.

    Examples from other areas also show how great the demand for experts will be in the future. Take the latest generation of earth observation satellites, which generates petabytes of images and measuring data that is needed to research global change. One of the areas of interest at IPP is modeling future fusion power plants. For this purpose, model-based computer simulations are just as necessary as the evaluation of large data sets. “The new graduate school”, states Prof. Dr. Frank Jenko, IPP spokesperson in the MuDS, “will help to take these efforts to a new level by connecting leading plasma physicists and data scientists and enabling cross-fertilization between the four different application domains of MuDS”.

    The Munich School for Data Science will offer joint projects for PhD students, each designed by two partners – a domain-specific application partner and a methodological partner. This will ensure that candidates receive methodological as well as application-specific training. In addition, participants will have the option of taking a course tailored to their needs, with a detailed onboarding phase followed up by advanced-level training. The training program will be integrated into existing courses provided by the universities as well as by the associated partners (LRZ and MPCDF), thus guaranteeing up-to-date, high-level training. MuDS will operate under the umbrella of the partner institutes’ highly successful graduate schools HELENA, HEPP, TUM-GS and Munich Aerospace.

    Funding over a six-year period will total twelve million euros. Half of this amount will be provided by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers while the same amount is contributed by the participating institutes. The new Munich School for Data Science will be embedded in the Association’s strategy for digitalizing research (see Background). The first call for PhD students will be opened in December 2018 on http://www.mu-ds.de

    Background:
    The Helmholtz Association is creating four new innovative platforms to digitalize research and to this end will invest a total of 35 million euros a year. Each platform is located at one or at several Helmholtz Centers and will create an active network with other researchers. Specific funding lines will be established for this purpose. One such platform is the Helmholtz Information and Data Science Academy (HIDA) for up-and-coming scientists and graduate schools in this field. Within HIDA, five graduate schools will be set up at existing locations in Karlsruhe/Heidelberg, Jülich/Aachen/Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin and, of course, Munich.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP) is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association.

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:00 pm on August 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Touring IPP’s fusion devices per virtual-reality viewer,   

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics: “Touring IPP’s fusion devices per virtual-reality viewer” 

    MPIPP bloc

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

    Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik
    Press office
    Phone:+49 89 3299-2607Fax:+49 89 3299-2622
    info@ipp.mpg.de

    August 07, 2018

    ASDEX Upgrade and Wendelstein 7-X – as if you were there / 360° view of fusion research

    Wendelstgein 7-X stellarator, built in Greifswald, Germany

    2
    Visit IPP’s research devices any time by virtual reality cardboard viewer and smartphone. Illustration: IPP, Reinald Fenke

    You seem to be standing in the plasma vessel looking around: Where otherwise plasmas with temperatures of several million degrees are being investigated, with a virtual-reality viewer you can now roam around there.

    he viewer gives access at any time to the plasma vessel of the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, upstairs, downstairs and in the control room. The plasma vessel of IPP’s Wendelstein 7-X device at Greifswald is likewise always open for a virtual visit, as well as the experimentation hall and the facilities for microwave heating.

    Here’s the way to ASDEX Upgrade and Wendelstein 7-X:
    http://www.sonnenmaschine-vr.de and
    http://www.sternenmaschine-vr.de

    A cardboard viewer or a VR headset provides virtual access by smartphone (with gyro function and acceleration sensor) or directly on the screen of a PC or tablet, depending on the type of viewer used*. And here’s how it works: Select the web address of the device wanted and click there the viewer symbol to select the virtual-reality mode. The screen then splits in two, one bit for each eye, thus providing a spatial image. Now put on the headset or attach the smartphone to the viewer and then you can look in any direction. The VR Setup link on the split screen adapts the image to the smartphone or headset used. Selector switches put you through to the various sites.

    The panoramas were photographed by Volker Steger and the VR conversion was done by Eduard Plesa.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP) is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association.

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:04 am on June 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics,   

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics: “Wendelstein 7-X achieves world record” 

    MPIPP bloc

    From Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

    June 25, 2018
    Isabella Milch

    Wendelstgein 7-X stellarator, built in Greifswald, Germany

    Stellarator record for fusion product / First confirmation for optimisation

    In the past experimentation round Wendelstein 7-X achieved higher temperatures and densities of the plasma, longer pulses and the stellarator world record for the fusion product. Moreover, first confirmation for the optimisation concept on which Wendelstein 7-X is based, was obtained. Wendelstein 7-X at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, the world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type, is investigating the suitability of this concept for application in power plants.

    1
    View inside the plasma vessel with graphite tile cladding. Photo: IPP, Jan Michael Hosan

    Unlike in the first experimentation phase 2015/16, the plasma vessel of Wendelstein 7-X has been fitted with interior cladding since September last year (see PI 8/2017). The vessel walls are now covered with graphite tiles, thus allowing higher temperatures and longer plasma discharges. With the so-called divertor it is also possible to control the purity and density of the plasma: The divertor tiles follow the twisted contour of the plasma edge in the form of ten broad strips along the wall of the plasma vessel. In this way, they protect particularly the wall areas onto which the particles escaping from the edge of the plasma ring are made to impinge. Along with impurities, the impinging particles are here neutralised and pumped off.

    “First experience with the new wall elements are highly positive”, states Professor Dr. Thomas Sunn Pedersen. While by the end of the first campaign pulse lengths of six seconds were being attained, plasmas lasting up to 26 seconds are now being produced. A heating energy of up to 75 megajoules could be fed into the plasma, this being 18 times as much as in the first operation phase without divertor. The heating power could also be increased, this being a prerequisite to high plasma density.

    2
    Wendelstein 7-X attained the Stellarator world record for the fusion product. This product of the ion temperature, plasma density and energy confinement time specifies how close one is getting to the reactor values needed to ignite a plasma. Graphic: IPP

    In this way a record value for the fusion product was attained. This product of the ion temperature, plasma density and energy confinement time specifies how close one is getting to the reactor values needed to ignite a plasma. At an ion temperature of about 40 million degrees and a density of 0.8 x 1020 particles per cubic metre Wendelstein 7-X has attained a fusion product affording a good 6 x 1026 degrees x second per cubic metre, the world’s stellarator record. “This is an excellent value for a device of this size, achieved, moreover, under realistic conditions, i.e. at a high temperature of the plasma ions”, says Professor Sunn Pedersen. The energy confinement time attained, this being a measure of the quality of the thermal insulation of the magnetically confined plasma, indicates with an imposing 200 milliseconds that the numerical optimisation on which Wendelstein 7-X is based might work: “This makes us optimistic for our further work.”

    The fact that optimisation is taking effect not only in respect of the thermal insulation is testified to by the now completed evaluation of experimental data from the first experimentation phase from December 2015 to March 2016, which has just been reported in Nature Physics (see below). This shows that also the bootstrap current behaves as expected. This electric current is induced by pressure differences in the plasma and could distort the tailored magnetic field. Particles from the plasma edge would then no longer impinge on the right area of the divertor. The bootstrap current in stellarators should therefore be kept as low as possible. Analysis has now confirmed that this has actually been accomplished in the optimised field geometry. “Thus, already during the first experimentation phase important aspects of the optimisation could be verified”, states first author Dr. Andreas Dinklage. “More exact and systematic evaluation will ensue in further experiments at much higher heating power and higher plasma pressure.”

    Since the end of 2017 Wendelstein 7-X has undergone further extensions: These include new measuring equipment and heating systems. Plasma experiments are to be resumed in July. Major extension is planned as of autumn 2018: The present graphite tiles of the divertor are to be replaced by carbon-reinforced carbon components that are additionally water-cooled. They are to make discharges lasting up to 30 minutes possible, during which it can be checked whether Wendelstein 7-X permanently meets its optimisation objectives as well.

    Background

    The objective of fusion research is to develop a power plant favourable to the climate and environment. Like the sun, it is to derive energy from fusion of atomic nuclei. Because the fusion fire needs temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees to ignite, the fuel, viz. a low-density hydrogen plasma, ought not to come into contact with cold vessel walls. Confined by magnetic fields, it is suspended inside a vacuum chamber with almost no contact.

    The magnetic cage of Wendelstein 7-X is produced by a ring of 50 superconducting magnet coils about 3.5 metres high. Their special shapes are the result of elaborate optimisation calculations. Although Wendelstein 7-X will not produce energy, it hopes to prove that stellarators are suitable for application in power plants.

    Its aim is to achieve for the first time in a stellarator the quality of confinement afforded by competing devices of the tokamak type. In particular, the device is to demonstrate the essential advantage of stellarators, viz. their capability to operate in continuous mode.

    Science paper:
    Magnetic configuration effects on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. Nature Physics

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP) is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association.

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:20 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics,   

    From IPP “The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation” 

    MPIPP bloc

    Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

    December 10, 2015
    Isabella Milch

    Following nine years of construction work and more than a million assembly hours, the main assembly of the Wendelstein 7-X was completed in April 2014.

    Wendelstgein 7-X stellarator
    Wendelstein 7-X stellarator

    The operational preparations have been under way ever since. Each technical system was tested in turn, the vacuum in the vessels, the cooling system, the superconducting coils and the magnetic field they produce, the control system, as well as the heating devices and measuring instruments. On 10th December, the day had arrived: the operating team in the control room started up the magnetic field and initiated the computer-operated experiment control system. It fed around one milligram of helium gas into the evacuated plasma vessel, switched on the microwave heating for a short 1,3 megawatt pulse – and the first plasma could be observed by the installed cameras and measuring devices. “We’re starting with a plasma produced from the noble gas helium. We’re not changing over to the actual investigation object, a hydrogen plasma, until next year,” explains project leader Professor Thomas Klinger: “This is because it’s easier to achieve the plasma state with helium. In addition, we can clean the surface of the plasma vessel with helium plasmas.”

    The first plasma in the machine had a duration of one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees.

    1
    10th December 2015: The first plasma in Wendelstein 7-X. It consisted of helium and reached a temperature of about one million degrees Celsius. (coloured black-and-white photo) Foto: IPP

    “We’re very satisfied”, concludes Dr. Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X, at the end of the first day of experimentation. “Everything went according to plan.” The next task will be to extend the duration of the plasma discharges and to investigate the best method of producing and heating helium plasmas using microwaves. After a break for New Year, confinement studies will continue in January, which will prepare the way for producing the first plasma from hydrogen.

    Background

    The objective of fusion research is to develop a power source that is friendly to the climate and, similarly to the sun, harvests energy from the fusion of atomic nuclei. As the fusion fire only ignites at temperatures of more than 100 million degrees, the fuel – a thin hydrogen plasma – must not come into contact with cold vessel walls. Confined by magnetic fields, it floats virtually free from contact within the interior of a vacuum chamber. For the magnetic cage, two different designs have prevailed – the tokamak and the stellarator. Both types of system are being investigated at the IPP. In Garching, the Tokamak ASDEX Upgrade is in operation and, as of today, the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator is operating in Greifswald.

    3
    Tokamak ASDEX Upgrade

    PPPL NSTXII
    NSTX tokamak at PPPL

    At present, only a tokamak is thought to be capable of producing an energy-supplying plasma and this is the international test reactor ITER, which is currently being constructed in Cadarache in the frame of a worldwide collaboration.

    ITER Tokamak
    ITER tokamak

    Wendelstein 7-X, the world’s largest stellarator-type fusion device, will not produce energy. Nevertheless, it should demonstrate that stellarators are also suitable as a power plant. Wendelstein 7-X is to put the quality of the plasma equilibrium and confinement on a par with that of a tokamak for the very first time. And with discharges lasting 30 minutes, the stellarator should demonstrate its fundamental advantage – the ability to operate continuously. In contrast, tokamaks can only operate in pulses without auxiliary equipment.

    The assembly of Wendelstein 7-X began in April 2005: a ring of 50 superconducting coils, some 3.5 metres high, is the key part of the device. Their special shapes are the result of refined optimisation calculations carried out by the “Stellarator Theory Department”, which spent more than ten years searching for a magnetic cage that is particularly heat insulating. The coils are threaded onto a ring-shaped steel plasma vessel and encased by a steel shell. In the vacuum created inside the shell, the coils are cooled down to superconduction temperature close to absolute zero using liquid helium. Once switched on, they consume hardly any energy. The magnetic cage that they create, keeps the 30 cubic metres of ultra-thin plasma – the object of the investigation – suspended inside the plasma vessel.

    The investment costs for Wendelstein 7-X amount to 370 million euros and are being met by the federal and state governments, and also by the EU. The components were manufactured by companies throughout Europe. Orders in excess of 70 million euros were placed with companies in the region. Numerous research facilities at home and abroad were involved in the construction of the device. Within the framework of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology was responsible for the microwave plasma heating; the Jülich Research Centre built measuring instruments and produced the elaborate connections for the superconducting magnetic coils. Installation was carried out by specialists from the Polish Academy of Science in Krakow. The American fusion research institutes at Princeton [PPPL], Oak Ridge and Los Alamos contributed equipment for the Wendelstein 7-X that included auxiliary coils and measuring instruments.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP) is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association.

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)
    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
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