Status of the SPARC physics basis

On September 29th (2020), we published a special issue (open-access) in the Journal of Plasma Physics from Cambridge University Press featuring our work on understanding and predicting the plasma physics of the SPARC tokamak. This project is a collaboration between the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems, but this published work included contributions from 12 institutions (47 authors) in 4 countries. The set of 7 papers provides a rather comprehensive view of the expected physics regimes in the primary plasma discharges in SPARC, and gives robust arguments on why SPARC will be successful in attaining its mission objectives. In particular, SPARC will demonstrate net fusion gain (never achieved so far) in a device of a scale of current experiments. The modest size of SPARC, along with an extremely well qualified team of scientists and engineers, will allow such demonstration in a short time-scale.

The set of peer-reviewed journal articles presented here also represents the endorsement of the wider fusion community in the techniques, assumptions and results reached by our scientific team. Each paper discusses a specific aspect of SPARC physics:

Overview A.J. Creely et al., “Overview of the SPARC tokamak

Core P. Rodriguez-Fernandez et al., “Predictions of core plasma performance for the SPARC tokamak

Pedestal J.W. Hughes et al., “Projections of H-mode access and edge pedestal in the SPARC tokamak

Divertor A.Q. Kuang et al.,”Divertor heat flux challenge and mitigation in SPARC

ICRF Y. Lin et al., “Physics basis for the ICRF system of the SPARC tokamak

MHD R. Sweeney et al., “MHD stability and disruptions in the SPARC tokamak

Fast Ions S.D. Scott et al., “Fast ion physics in SPARC

For more information, do not forget to read the press releases that accompanied the set of papers:

More press coverage here.

Some history of the project as featured in the media:

Some of previous public releases specific to the SPARC project: