Turbulence in Fusion Plasmas

Turbulence is a major obstacle for building fusion reactors. We use theory and simulation to further our understanding of turbulence and ultimately find magnetic field shapes that minimise turbulence.


Thanks to the multitude of shapes available, we can optimise stellarators even for turbulence.

Plasma turbulence is one of the last fundamental obstacles to harnessing nuclear fusion for power generation. The stellarator concept, which is presently seeing the successful operation of the Wendelstein 7-X experiment, can potentially be optimized to make turbulence negligible. However, in W7-X the magnetic field geometry is optimized for good confinement only. Due to the computational expense of direct numerical turbulence simulation in 3D stellarator geometry, and the lack of accurate reduced predictive models, turbulence could not be incorporated in the optimisation of the design. But it must, if the stellarator concept is to be a power plant candidate. 

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