Hyperfine structure lines in astrophysical or fusion plasmas




Greater Copenhagen area

Hyperfine structure transitions occur when the magnetic moment of an electron interacts with that of its atomic nucleus. This can happen for a variety of highly ionized elements, some of which are commonly found as “impurity” ions in experimental fusion plasma devices or as heavy elements in otherwise hydrogen-dominated astrophysical plasmas. Knowledge of the distribution of such ions in fusion devices is important for addressing questions of plasma stability and fusion performance, while measurements of these ions in astrophysical plasmas provide important constraints on the cosmic baryon content and chemical enrichment history.

In this project we will calculate the emissivity of hyperfine structure lines emitted at millimeter wavelengths by H-like, Li-like, and Na-like ions under typical conditions in fusion plasmas and/or astrophysical plasmas. We will begin by computing results in the low-density plasma limit relevant for astrophysical plasmas. From this basis, we will assess the prospects for detecting these lines in experimental fusion devices using microwave technology or in the intergalactic medium using radio telescopes. If positive, this could ultimately allow a complementary means of measuring the amount and distribution of impurity ions in fusion plasmas and of baryons in the cosmos, as well as provide tests of fundamental nuclear physics.


Statistical thermodynamics; atomic and nuclear physics; experience with Matlab or equivalent

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Company / Organization

DTU Fysik


Jesper Rasmussen




Supervisor info

MSc in Physics and Nanotechnology


Jesper Rasmussen

ECTS credits

15 - 30


BSc project, MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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