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Atomic data for modelling fusion and astrophysical plasmas

Summers, H.P. and Badnell, N.R. and Whiteford, A.D. and O'Mullane, M. and Bingham, R. and Kellett, B.J. and Lang, J. and Behringer, K.H. and Fantz, U. and Kastrow, S.D. and Loch, S.D. and Pindzola, M.S. and Griffin, D.C. and Balance, C.P. (2002) Atomic data for modelling fusion and astrophysical plasmas. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 44. B323-B338. ISSN 0741-3335

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Trends and focii of interest in atomic modelling and data are identified in connection with recent observations and experiments in fusion and astrophysics. In the fusion domain, spectral observations are included of core, beam penetrated and divertor plasma. The helium beam experiments at JET and the studies with very heavy species at ASDEX and JET are noted. In the astrophysics domain, illustrations are given from the SOHO and CHANDRA spacecraft which span from the solar upper atmosphere, through soft x-rays from comets to supernovae remnants. It is shown that non-Maxwellian, dynamic and possibly optically thick regimes must be considered. The generalized collisional-radiative model properly describes the collisional regime of most astrophysical and laboratory fusion plasmas and yields self-consistent derived data for spectral emission, power balance and ionization state studies. The tuning of this method to routine analysis of the spectral observations is described. A forward look is taken as to how such atomic modelling, and the atomic data which underpin it, ought to evolve to deal with the extended conditions and novel environments of the illustrations. It is noted that atomic physics influences most aspects of fusion and astrophysical plasma behaviour but the effectiveness of analysis depends on the quality of the bi-directional pathway from fundamental data production through atomic/plasma model development to the confrontation with experiment. The principal atomic data capability at JET, and other fusion and astrophysical laboratories, is supplied via the Atomic Data and Analysis Structure (ADAS) Project. The close ties between the various experiments and ADAS have helped in this path of communication.