** partially supported by Simons Foundation*

A first-principles method to calculate the critical temperature gradient for the onset of the ion-temperature-gradient mode (ITG) in linear gyrokinetics is presented. We find that conventional notions of the connection length previously invoked in tokamak research should be revised and replaced by a generalized correlation length to explain…

Combined plasma–coil optimization approaches for designing stellarators are discussed and a new method for calculating free-boundary equilibria for multiregion relaxed magnetohydrodynmics (MRxMHD) is proposed. Four distinct categories of stellarator optimization, two of which are novel approaches, are the fixed-boundary optimization, the…

Over the last decade, a variational principle based on a generalisation of Taylor’s relaxation, referred to as multi-region relaxed magnetohydrodynamics (MRxMHDs) has been developed. The numerical solutions of the MRxMHD equilibria have been constructed using the Stepped Pressure Equilibrium Code (SPEC) (Hudson et al 2012 Phys. Plasmas 19…

The *stellarator* as a concept of magnetic confinement fusion requires careful design to confine particles effectively. A design possibility is to equip the magnetic field with a property known as *quasisymmetry*. Though it is generally believed that a steady-state quasisymmetric equilibrium can only be exact locally (unless the…

A method is given to rapidly compute quasisymmetric stellarator magnetic fields for plasma confinement, without the need to call a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium code inside an optimization iteration. The method is based on direct solution of the equations of magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and quasisymmetry using Garren and…

The numerical solution of the stepped pressure equilibrium (Hudson et al 2012 Phys. Plasmas 19 112502) requires a fast and robust solver to obtain the Beltrami field in three-dimensional geometry such as stellarators. The spectral method implemented in the stepped pressure equilibrium code (SPEC) is efficient when the domain is a hollow torus,…

This paper describes a new and efficient method of defining an annular region of a curl-free magnetic field with specific physics and coil properties that can be used in stellarator design. Three statements define the importance: (1) Codes can follow an optimized curl-free initial state to a final full-pressure equilibrium. The large size of…