Validation Studies of Gyrokinetic Simulations to Understand the Coupling of Ion and Electron Scale Turbulence in Tokamak Plasmas

PI Name: 
Christopher Holland
PI Email: 
chholland@ucsd.edu
Institution: 
University of California, San Diego
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
90 Million
Year: 
2014
Research Domain: 
Physics

In order to realize the promise of nuclear fusion as an energy source, it is essential to develop predictive models of plasma dynamics that can accurately describe the performance of current experiments, and be confidently extrapolated to future devices. One of the essential processes such models must describe is the turbulent transport of plasma, which often determines the overall performance and fusion energy produced. Recent cutting‐edge multiscale gyrokinetic simulations of plasma turbulence in a tokamak (the leading approach to magnetic confinement-based fusion devices) have resolved previously observed discrepancies between the observed turbulence levels and those predicted by earlier simulations that included only a smaller range of spatial range of scales. This award will extend the direct multiscale simulation approach to a wider range of parameters and conditions. The results of these studies will significantly advance our understanding of plasma turbulence in tokamaks, and our ability to predict turbulent transport and confinement in future devices with greater accuracy and confidence.