The Universities of Oxford, Strathclyde, Warwick and York, in collaboration with the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, are in the middle of a 5-year, EPSRC-funded programme to understand the fundamentals of turbulence in tokamak plasmas. A main objective of this programme is to identify advanced confinement configurations that will lead to compact fusion reactors. Key elements of the programme are the interaction between turbulence and flows, and the impact of the ratio of thermal pressure to magnetic field pressure (called the plasma beta).
As part of this programme, the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Plasma Theory for Fusion Energy. The successful candidate will develop new theory to explain the interaction between turbulence and plasma flow observed in magnetic confinement fusion plasmas. Examples of the phenomena of interest are: the observation of self-generated flows in the absence of momentum input, the observation of regions of reduced turbulence that are correlated with the presence of strong velocity shear, the recent numerical discovery of bistable turbulence and the transition to high transport states at high plasma beta. Explaining these complex observations will require a combination of analytical theory, computational work and physical intuition. The candidate is expected to compare the result of the theoretical work to experiments in JET and/or MAST-U, two experiments located at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, within a short train journey of Oxford. This comparison with experimental observation will be conducted in collaboration with experimentalists that participate in the programme.
The post holder will likely have the opportunity to teach if he/she desires.
Grade 7: £33,309 - £40,927 p.a.