Antoine J. Cerfon

Antoine J. Cerfon
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Antoine J. Cerfon

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Physics - Plasma Physics (8)
Mathematics - Numerical Analysis (4)
Physics - Accelerator Physics (2)
Physics - Computational Physics (2)
Mathematics - Spectral Theory (1)
Physics - Fluid Dynamics (1)
Mathematics - Classical Analysis and ODEs (1)

Publications Authored By Antoine J. Cerfon

A highly elongated plasma is desirable in order to increase plasma pressure and energy confinement to maximize fusion power output. However, there is a limit to the maximum achievable elongation which is set by vertical instabilities driven by the $n=0$ MHD mode. This limit can be increased by optimizing several parameters characterizing the plasma and the wall. Read More

We develop an algorithm for the numerical calculation of Taylor states (also known as Beltrami, or force-free fields) in toroidal and toroidal-shell geometries using an analytical framework developed for the solution to the time-harmonic Maxwell equations. The scheme relies on the generalized Debye source representation of Maxwell fields and an integral representation of Beltrami fields which immediately yields a well-conditioned second-kind integral equation. This integral equation has a unique solution whenever the Beltrami parameter $\lambda$ is not a member of a discrete, countable set of resonances which physically correspond to spontaneous symmetry breaking in the plasma. Read More

We present a fast, direct and adaptive Poisson solver for complex two-dimensional geometries based on potential theory and fast multipole acceleration. More precisely, the solver relies on the standard decomposition of the solution as the sum of a volume integral to account for the source distribution and a layer potential to enforce the desired boundary condition. The volume integral is computed by applying the FMM on a square box that encloses the domain of interest. Read More

Tokamaks with up-down asymmetric poloidal cross-sections spontaneously rotate due to turbulent transport of momentum. In this work, we investigate the effect of the Shafranov shift on this intrinsic rotation, primarily by analyzing tokamaks with tilted elliptical flux surfaces. By expanding the Grad-Shafranov equation in the large aspect ratio limit we calculate the magnitude and direction of the Shafranov shift in tilted elliptical tokamaks. Read More

We propose the use of sparse grids to accelerate particle-in-cell (PIC) schemes. By using the so-called `combination technique' from the sparse grids literature, we are able to dramatically increase the size of the spatial cells in multi-dimensional PIC schemes while paying only a slight penalty in grid-based error. The resulting increase in cell size allows us to reduce the statistical noise in the simulation without increasing total particle number. Read More

We show that the space charge dynamics of high intensity beams in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field in cyclotrons is described by the two-dimensional Euler equations for an incompressible fluid. This analogy with fluid dynamics gives a unified and intuitive framework to explain the beam spiraling and beam break up behavior observed in experiments and in simulations. In particular, we demonstrate that beam break up is the result of a classical instability occurring in fluids subject to a sheared flow. Read More

The analytic theory presented in Paper I is converted into a form convenient for numerical analysis. A fast and accurate code has been written using this numerical formulation. The results are presented by first defining a reference set of physical parameters based on experimental data from high performance discharges. Read More

We present ECOM (Equilibrium solver via COnformal Mapping), a fast and accurate fixed boundary solver for toroidally axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with or without a toroidal flow. ECOM combines conformal mapping and Fourier and integral equation methods on the unit disk to achieve exponential convergence for the poloidal flux function as well as its first and second partial derivatives. As a consequence of its high order accuracy, for dense grids and tokamak-like elongations ECOM computes key quantities such as the safety factor and the magnetic shear with higher accuracy than the finite element based code CHEASE [H. Read More

We present a general construction for exact analytic Taylor states in axisymmetric toroidal geometries. In this construction, the Taylor equilibria are fully determined by specifying the aspect ratio, elongation, and triangularity of the desired plasma geometry. For equilibria with a magnetic X-point, the location of the X-point must also be specified. Read More

We examine the merits of using a family of polynomials that are orthogonal with respect to a non-classical weight function to discretize the speed variable in continuum kinetic calculations. We consider a model one-dimensional partial differential equation describing energy diffusion in velocity space due to Fokker-Planck collisions. This relatively simple case allows us to compare the results of the projected dynamics with an expensive but highly accurate spectral transform approach. Read More

We develop a spectrally accurate numerical method to compute solutions of a model partial differential equation used in plasma physics to describe diffusion in velocity space due to Fokker-Planck collisions. The solution is represented as a discrete and continuous superposition of normalizable and non-normalizable eigenfunctions via the spectral transform associated with a singular Sturm-Liouville operator. We present a new algorithm for computing the spectral density function of the operator that uses Chebyshev polynomials to extrapolate the value of the Titchmarsh-Weyl $m$-function from the complex upper half-plane to the real axis. Read More

We present a new fast solver to calculate fixed-boundary plasma equilibria in toroidally axisymmetric geometries. By combining conformal mapping with Fourier and integral equation methods on the unit disk, we show that high-order accuracy can be achieved for the solution of the equilibrium equation and its first and second derivatives. Smooth arbitrary plasma cross-sections as well as arbitrary pressure and poloidal current profiles are used as initial data for the solver. Read More

Using a two-dimensional fluid description, we investigate the nonlinear radial-longitudinal dynamics of intense beams in storage rings and cyclotrons. With a multiscale analysis separating the time scale associated with the betatron motion and the slower time scale associated with space-charge effects, we show that the longitudinal-radial vortex motion can be understood in the frame moving with the charged beam as the nonlinear advection of the beam by the $\mathbf{E}\times\mathbf{B}$ velocity field, where $\mathbf{E}$ is the electric field due to the space charge and $\mathbf{B}$ is the external magnetic field. This interpretation provides simple explanations for the stability of round beams and for the development of spiral halos in elongated beams. Read More