Plasma which consists 99% of the universe, is known as "the fourth state" of matter together with the other three states: solid, liquid, and gas. The plasma group in the Department of Physics studies the characteristics and the possible application of various plasmas.
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Current topics include tokamak theory and experiments for thermonuclear fusion research, low temperature plasma theory and experiments, and space plasma physics. In the tokamak-related research area, study of plasma confinement, transport, instability, current drive hearing, as well as development of various plasma diagnostics on KAIST-Tokamak, are being performed. In the low temperature plasma laboratory, development of next-generation large area processing plasma sources such as inductively coupled plasma (ICP) and electron cyclotron resonance(ECR) plasma, as well as helicon plasma, are underway in conjunction with efforts to understand the characteristics of each plasma based on plasma diagnostics such as probe a nd spectroscopy. Researches on the space plasma focus on understanding the phenomenology in space plasmas and study of plasmas which exist in the terrestrial and planetroty magnetic fields.
The detailed topics currently pursued include development of various plasma diagnostics for tokamaks, plasma current drive and transport control by rf waves, experimental study of MHD instabilities, theoretical study of neoclassical transport and instability in tokamak plasmas, plasma processing using RF plasmas, development of a high density, large area processing plasma source, magnetosphere substorm, and propagation of an electron beam in space, etc. For a more efficient reaesrch activity, the Center for Plasma and Fusion Studies (CPFS) is established in KAIST This research center has been active to bring up highly qualified researches in the area of plasma physics and plays a major role in the physics research and diagnostic development for the Korean national tokamak project, KSTAR.
Cross-sectional view of turbulent electric potential at a toroidal angle in a tokamak plasma, leading to global self-organization of the plasma profile.