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Plasma 2010 Committee Plasma Science Committee Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. DE-AT01-05ER54778 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy, Grant No. PHY-0425966 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, and Contract No. NNG04G-I-30G between the Na- tional Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Plasma 2010 Committee. Plasma science : advancing knowledge in the national interest / Plasma 2010 Committee, Plasma Science Committee, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-309-10943-7 (pbk.) — ISBN 978-0-309-10944-4 (PDF) 1. Plasma (Ionized gases)— Research—United States. I. Title. QC718.6.N38 2007 530.4'4072073—dc22 2007041991 Cover: Magnetic energy density in a relativistic collisionless shock. In astrophysical plasmas, propa- gating shocks such as this one are thought to accelerate particles to very high energies. Courtesy of A. Spitkovsky, Princeton University. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washing- ton metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu; and the Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; Internet, http://www. national-academies.org/bpa. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern- ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to as- sociate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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PLASMA 2010 COMMITTEE STEVEN C. COWLEY, University of California at Los Angeles, Co-chair JOHN PEOPLES, JR., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Co-chair JAMES D. CALLEN, University of Wisconsin at Madison FRANKLIN R. CHANG-DÍAZ, Ad Astra Rocket Company, Houston, Texas TODD DITMIRE, University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM DORLAND, University of Maryland at College Park WALTER GEKELMAN, University of California at Los Angeles STEVEN L. GIRSHICK, University of Minnesota DAVID HAMMER, Cornell University ERICH P. IPPEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MARK J. KUSHNER, Iowa State University KRISTINA A. LYNCH, Dartmouth College JONATHAN E. MENARD, Princeton University LIA MERMINGA, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility ELIOT QUATAERT, University of California at Berkeley TIMOTHY J. SOMMERER, General Electric, Inc. CLIFFORD M. SURKO, University of California at San Diego MAX TABAK, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Board Director TIMOTHY I. MEYER, Senior Program Officer MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Senior Program Officer PAMELA LEWIS, Program Associate (until January 2007) VAN AN, Financial Associate v
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PLASMA SCIENCE COMMITTEE RICCARDO BETTI, University of Rochester, Chair MICHAEL R. BROWN, Swarthmore College LINDA M. CECCHI, Sandia National Laboratories PATRICK L. COLESTOCK, Los Alamos National Laboratory S. GAIL GLENDINNING, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory VALERY GODYAK, OSRAM Sylvania, Inc. IAN H. HUTCHINSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CHADRASHEKHAR JOSHI, University of California at Los Angeles ELIOT QUATAERT, University of California at Berkeley EDWARD THOMAS, JR., Auburn University MICHAEL C. ZARNSTORFF, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN, University of Michigan Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Board Director TIMOTHY I. MEYER, Senior Program Officer CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Senior Program Assistant vi
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BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY ANNEILA L. SARGENT, California Institute of Technology, Chair MARC A. KASTNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vice-chair JOANNA AIZENBERG, Lucent Technologies JONATHAN A. BAGGER, Johns Hopkins University JAMES E. BRAU, University of Oregon RONALD C. DAVIDSON, Princeton University ANDREA M. GHEZ, University of California at Los Angeles PETER F. GREEN, University of Michigan WICK C. HAXTON, University of Washington FRANCES HELLMAN, University of California at Berkeley JOSEPH HEZIR, EOP Group, Inc. ERICH P. IPPEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ALLAN H. MacDONALD, University of Texas at Austin CHRISTOPHER F. McKEE, University of California at Berkeley HOMER A. NEAL, University of Michigan JOSE N. ONUCHIC, University of California at San Diego WILLIAM D. PHILLIPS, National Institute of Standards and Technology THOMAS N. THEIS, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center C. MEGAN URRY, Yale University Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director TIMOTHY I. MEYER, Senior Program Officer ROBERT L. RIEMER, Senior Program Officer NATALIA J. MELCER, Program Officer BRIAN D. DEWHURST, Senior Program Associate DAVID B. LANG, Research Associate CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Senior Program Assistant VAN AN, Financial Associate vii
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Preface The National Research Council (NRC) convened the Plasma 2010 Committee in mid-2004, with substantial input from the Plasma Science Committee concern- ing the committee, to prepare a new decadal assessment of and outlook for the broad field of plasma science and engineering. Support for the project was provided by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The committee was asked to assess the progress in plasma research, identify the most compelling new scientific opportuni- ties, evaluate the prospects for broader application of plasmas, and offer guidance to the government and the research community on realizing these opportunities; the complete charge is reproduced in Appendix A. In addressing that charge, the com- mittee maintained an optimistic, demand-side perspective, working to identify the most compelling scientific opportunities and the paths to realizing them. Decadal surveys experience a strong urge to discuss about the need for funding—the supply side of the workforce equation; this committee worked hard to be forward-looking in its analysis of what plasma research can do for this nation. In light of the ongoing national discussion of U.S. competitiveness, the committee recognized the value of a prospective “international benchmarking” exercise that would compare the U.S. plasma science and engineering enterprise to analogous enterprises in other parts of the world. However, the committee realized that it had neither the time nor resources to undertake such a task. The committee’s membership included not only experts in the many subdisci- plines of plasmas (low-temperature, magnetic fusion, high energy density physics, space physics and astrophysics, and basic plasma science), but also several experts ix
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Preface x from outside plasma science enlisted by the NRC to help place the field of plas- mas in a broader context (see Appendix G for biographical sketches of committee members). It was important to the committee from the outset to prepare a report that reflected the scientific connections among the plasma subdisciplines in a clear and compelling manner. This report represents the third volume in the Physics 2010 series, a project undertaken by the NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy. Each volume examines a subfield of physics, assesses its status, and frames an outlook for the future. Because the committee’s full published report is about 250 pages long, the committee will also make available an extract that includes only the front matter, the Summary, and the first chapter, “Overview.” The full committee met three times in person and used a fourth smaller meet- ing to prepare the first full draft of the report (see Appendix F for meeting agendas). To best address its task, the committee divided the broad field of plasma science and engineering into topical areas and formed subcommittees to study each topic in greater depth. Hundreds of conference calls and e-mail messages kept the work coordinated between the full meetings of the committee. The committee carefully studied trends in federal support for plasma science and the organization of this support (see Appendix D for a short summary) and reviewed past NRC reports on plasma science, with a reprise given in Appendix E. The committee pursued several mechanisms to engage the broader community of researchers in plasma science and engineering. Site visits by small teams from the committee to the major centers of plasma research were conducted all over the United States. Among the places visited were the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Wisconsin, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Rochester, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Ala- mos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California at San Diego, General Atomics, and others. The committee appreciates the time and effort expended by its hosts at each of these visits; the discussions were enlightening and invaluable. The com- mittee also held a series of town-hall meetings in conjunction with conferences of the various professional societies, including meetings of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics and its Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Op- tical Physics; the University Fusion Association; the American Geophysical Union; the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science; the AVS: Science and Tech- nology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing; the International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry; and the Gaseous Electronics Conference. The committee thanks the organizers of each of these meetings for their support and encouragement. Finally, the committee also developed a written questionnaire that was electroni- cally distributed; more than a hundred responses provided valuable contributions to the committee’s discussions.
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Preface xi The committee thanks the speakers who made formal presentations at each of the meetings; their presentations and the ensuing discussions were extremely infor- mative and had a significant impact on the committee’s deliberations. As co-chairs, we are grateful to our colleagues on the committee for their patience, wisdom, and deep commitment to the integrity of this report. We are especially grateful to the outsider members of the committee for their commitment and dedication to helping prepare this report. Their shrewd questions and creative suggestions sub- stantially elevated the level of its discussions. Finally, the committee also thanks the NRC staff (Timothy Meyer, Michael Moloney, Don Shapero, and Pamela Lewis) for their guidance and assistance throughout this process. Steven C. Cowley, Co-chair John Peoples, Jr., Co-chair Plasma 2010 Committee
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures ap- proved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Paul Bellan, California Institute of Technology, Riccardo Betti, University of Rochester, Amitava Bhattacharjee, University of New Hampshire, Patrick Colestock, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Ronald C. Davidson, Princeton University, Cary B. Forest, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Edward Frieman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Valery Godyak, OSRAM Sylvania, Inc., W.G. Graham, Queen’s University, Belfast, Mark C. Hermann, Sandia National Laboratories, Ian H. Hutchinson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arnold Kritz, Lehigh University, J. Patrick Looney, Brookhaven National Laboratory, xiii
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acknowledgment reviewers xiv of Thomas M. O’Neil, University of California at San Diego, Robert Rosner, Argonne National Laboratory, Alvin W. Trivelpiece, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Jonathan S. Wurtele, University of California at Berkeley, and Michael C. Zarnstorff, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recom- mendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John F. Ahearne of Sigma Xi and Duke Uni- versity and Nathaniel J. Fisch of Princeton University. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional proce- dures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 OVERVIEW 5 Definition of the Field, 5 Importance of Plasma Science and Engineering, 8 Selected Highlights of Plasma Science and Engineering, 11 Biotechnology and Health Care, 12 Accelerating Particles with Plasma Wake Fields, 15 Fusion Burning Plasmas in a Magnetic Bottle, 17 Magnetic Reconnection and Self-Organization, 22 Fusion Ignition in an Exploding Pellet, 24 Plasma Physics and Black Holes, 25 Key Themes of Recent Scientific Advances, 28 Prediction in Plasma Science, 28 New Plasma Regimes, 29 Common Intellectual Threads of Plasma Research, 29 The Report’s Principal Conclusion and Principal Recommendation, 31 2 LOW-TEMPERATURE PLASMA SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING 38 Introduction and Unifying Scientific Principles, 41 Plasma Heating, Stability, and Control, 41 Efficiency and Selectivity, 41 Stochastic, Chaotic, and Collective Behavior, 42 xv
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contents xvi Plasma Interactions with Surfaces, 42 Plasmas in Dusty and Other Nonideal Media, 43 Diagnostics and Predictive Modeling, 44 Recent Progress and Trends, 48 Generation, Stability, and Control of Very Small Area and Very Large Area Plasmas at Low and High Pressures, 49 Interaction of Plasmas with Very Complex Surfaces, 52 Turbulent, Stochastic, and Chaotic Behavior of Complex Plasmas and Plasmas in Liquids, 54 Reliable Quantitative Prediction of Plasma Behavior, 58 Emergence of Diffuse, High-Pressure Nonequilibrium Plasmas, 59 Future Opportunities, 59 Basic Interactions of Plasmas with Organic Materials and Living Tissue, 60 Methods to Describe the Behavior of Plasmas That Contain Chaotic and Stochastic Processes, 60 Stability Criteria for Large-Area, Uniform, High-Pressure Plasmas, 62 Interaction of High-Density Plasmas with Surfaces, 62 Flexible, Noninvasive Diagnostics, 62 Fundamental Data, 64 The International Perspective, 64 The Academic Perspective, 66 The Industrial Perspective, 68 Stewardship of the Field, 69 Conclusions and Recommendations for This Topic, 70 3 PLASMA PHYSICS AT HIGH ENERGY DENSITY 75 Introduction, 75 What Constitutes HED Plasma Physics?, 76 Enabling Technologies and HED Science in Context, 76 Importance of This Research, 80 Economic and Energy Security, 81 National Security, 81 Intellectual Importance, 82 Role of Education and Training, 84 Recent Progress and Future Opportunities, 84 Inertial Confinement Fusion, 85 Stockpile Stewardship, 91 Properties of Warm Dense Matter and Hot Dense Matter, 93 Plasma-Based Electron Accelerators, 98 Laboratory Simulation of Astrophysical Phenomena, 102 Fundamental HED Research, 104
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contents xvii Addressing the Challenges, 108 Conclusions and Recommendations for This Topic, 110 4 THE PLASMA SCIENCE OF MAGNETIC FUSION 115 Introduction, 115 A New Era in Magnetic Fusion Research, 115 Magnetic Fusion: A Brief Description, 116 Concept Improvement Is Important for ITER and Beyond, 120 Importance of This Research, 124 Recent Progress and Future Opportunities, 125 Macroscopic Stability and Dynamics, 126 Microinstabilities, Turbulence, and Transport, 127 Boundary Plasma Properties and Control, 133 Wave–Particle Interactions in Fusion Plasmas, 141 Conclusions and Recommendations for This Topic, 146 5 SPACE AND ASTROPHYSICAL PLASMAS 152 Introduction, 152 Recent Progress and Future Opportunities, 153 What Are the Origins and the Evolution of Plasma Structure Throughout the Magnetized Universe?, 155 How Are Particles Accelerated Throughout the Universe?, 166 How Do Plasmas Interact with Nonplasmas?, 175 Conclusions and Recommendations for This Topic, 179 6 BASIC PLASMA SCIENCE 184 Introduction, 184 Recent Progress and Future Opportunities, 185 Nonneutral and Single-Component Plasmas, 187 Ultracold Neutral Plasmas, 190 Dusty Plasmas, 191 Laser-Produced and HED Plasmas, 194 Microplasmas, 197 Turbulence and Turbulent Transport, 199 Dynamo Action, Reconnection, and Magnetic Self-Organization, 202 Plasma Waves, Structures, and Flows, 206 Improved Methodologies for Basic Plasma Studies, 209 Conclusions and Recommendations for This Topic, 210 University-Scale Investigations, 211 Intermediate-Scale Facilities, 213
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contents xviii APPENDIXES A CHARGE TO THE COMMITTEE 219 B INTERNATIONAL THERMONUCLEAR EXPERIMENTAL REACTOR 221 C NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY 226 D FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR PLASMA SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING 230 Department of Energy, 231 Office of Naval Research, 238 National Science Foundation, 238 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 241 E REPRISE OF PAST NRC REPORTS ON PLASMA SCIENCE 243 F COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDAS 249 G BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE 254 MEMBERS AND STAFF