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Collision data for fusion plasma modeling

Electron collisions with atoms and molecules are responsible for many important processes in nature. Applications range from astrophysics, where electron collisions play a major role in defining properties of the stellar environment, to nanoscience where electron-atom/molecule interactions underpin our understanding of the micro-world.

The aim of this project is to study electron collisions with molecules that are of special interest to fusion research. ITER, the world’s largest research project, requires accurate modeling of magnetically confined hot plasma. The Atomic and Molecular Data Unit at the International Atomic Energy Agency supports and directs production and evaluation of the collision data that are used in plasma modeling codes. Over the course of several recent meetings, the need for accurate collision data for a number of molecules (H2, BeH, LiH, etc.) has been emphasized. Your research will involve the theoretical development and extension of the electron-molecule collision computer code (CCC), developed at the Curtin University research group to molecules of interest in fusion. You will conduct large-scale, massively parallel close-coupling calculations of electron-molecule scattering using advanced supercomputer facilities. We have produced a comprehensive data set  of excitation cross sections for e-H2 collisions (Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2016) 233201), you will extend on this work and apply the method to other molecules.

This project suits a student with a strong physics and mathematics background, exposure to programming and an interest in computational science.

The ITER tokamak
The ITER tokamak