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Andrew Angus

Position: 2nd year postgraduate student on the HetSys (Modelling of Heterogeneous Systems) CDT.

Supervisors: Prof. Tony Arber, Dr Keith Bennet, and Dr Tom Goffrey

PhD Project: Coupling Fluid and Kinetic Codes for Laser-driven Inertial Fusion Energy Simulations

Coupling kinetic solutions of laser-plasma interactions to large-scale fluid simulations will help optimise experiments aimed at achieving thermonuclear fusion driven by lasers. Direct-drive inertial fusion energy (IFE) requires high-energy lasers to be focussed on a spherical target. The outer material of the target (usually CH) ablates driving an implosion of the core deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel. For this approach to be successful it is essential that the laser energy couples efficiently to the ablated plasma. However, instabilities lead to the loss of direct drive laser energy and the excitation of plasma electrostatic waves. This reduces drive efficiency and the plasma waves produced generate fast-electrons that pre-heat the cryogenic DT core inhibiting compression and ignition. Despite decades of research we are still lacking a comprehensive understanding of these instabilities at ignition scales. This project will study, via numerical simulations, how laser-plasma instabilities affect hot-electron generation and how these effects might be coupled to full hydrodynamic simulations of inertial fusion. The work will involve comparison with experimental datasets from collaborators in the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in the US.

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Background: Completed integrated master's (MEng) in chemical engineering with energy engineering at Heriot-Watt University before undertaking postgraduate study at the University of Warwick. As part of the CDT programme, the first 15 months were spent working jointly between the PhD project and a taught PgDip qualification in modelling of heterogeneous systems.


Angus, A., Yahia, L.A.A., Maione, R., Khala, M., Hare, C., Ozel, A. and Ocone, R., 2020. Calibrating friction coefficients in discrete element method simulations with shear-cell experiments. Powder Technology.