General Information Edit

Course is a summary of how a fusion reactor, basic principles of fusion, etc and involves writing a large paper on a theoretical nuclear reactor that you design. The course heavily uses Principles of Fusion Energy by Harms et al.

Prerequisites Edit

PHYS 1112, PHYS 2213, and PHYS 2214

These are not strictly necessary and you can get away without much prior knowledge.

Topics Covered Edit

  • Matter and Energy; fusion fuels and reactions; particle distribution functions.
  • Fusion reactions versus particle scattering
  • Confinement, diffusion and burn (using up) of fusion fuel
  • Particle motion in electric and magnetic fields; particle drift motion
  • Fusion reaction chains
  • Reactor energetics
  • Magnetic and inertial confinement fusion configurations and energy sources
  • Advanced reactor concepts
  • Reactor walls, structure and other materials needs
  • Production, handling and characteristics of tritium as a fusion fuel
  • Fusion reactors as an indefinitely sustainable energy source using deuterium fuel

Workload Edit

One problem a set a week with questions mostly straight out of the book. Solutions for book are online so there's not a lot of pressure. Occasional hard problems but overall nothing too complex.

Advice Edit

Hammer is very knowledgable about Fusion and is a fascinating individual. Lectures are often unclear and it's very easy to get lost. However the HW and exam questions are relatively straight forward.

Past Offerings Edit

Semester Prof Median Grade
Spring 2017 Hammer A-