Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Plasma Physics; Ph.D., 2013
Dr. Joaquim Loizu is a theoretical plasma physicist and lecturer at the Swiss Plasma Center of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
He received his PhD at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2013) in theoretical plasma physics. He then joined the Max-Planck-Princeton Center for Fusion and Astrophysical Plasmas, spending one year at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and one year at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. During this time, he worked on 3D MHD, studying the formation of singular currents and magnetic islands at rational surfaces. In 2016 he obtained a two-years EUROfusion Postdoctoral Fellowship to carry out research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics. During this time, he focused on the computation of 3D MHD equilibria in stellarators, including the possibility of magnetic islands and magnetic field-line chaos. In 2018, he joined the Swiss Plasma Center as a scientist in the MHD theory group.
His current research focuses on the analytical and numerical study of three-dimensional MHD equilibria, which generally consist of an intricate combination of magnetic surfaces, magnetic islands, and magnetic field-line chaos. Their understanding is central to the design, prediction, and diagnosis of stellarator fusion reactors. The equilibrium magnetic field determines, in fact, the plasma confinement, the impurity accumulation, the fast ion losses, and the exact paths through which heat and particles are channeled towards specific parts of the outer vessel of the reactor. Research also focuses on the stability of these equilbria, including possible magnetic reconnection events that can substantially modify the magnetic topology. Understanding stability is crucial for determining operational limits and for the evaluation of the robustness of a given stellarator configuration.
The main role of Dr. Loizu within the Simons collaboration will be to participate in the calculation of stellarator MHD equilibria and stability using and developing the SPEC code. These studies will provide the necessary information to the optimizers developed within this collaboration, which will calculate the direction to be taken towards optimum configurations.