The ability to separate large volumes of mixed species based on atomic mass appears desirable for a variety of emerging applications with high societal impact. One possibility to meet this objective consists in leveraging mass differential effects in rotating plasmas. Beyond conventional centrifugation, rotating plasmas offer in principle additional ways to separate elements based on mass. Single ion orbits show that ion radial mass separation in a uniform magnetized plasma column can be achieved by applying a tailored electric potential profile across the column, or by driving a rotating magnetic field within the column. Furthermore, magnetic pressure and centrifugal effects can be combined in a non-uniform geometry to separate ions based on mass along the field lines. Practical application of these separation schemes hinges on the ability to produce the desirable electric and magnetic field configuration within the plasma column.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics