Fall 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Oct 28 2022

APAM undergraduate students and faculty participated in the Fall 2022 Research Symposium on Friday, October 21, 2022, in Roone Arledge Auditorium.

Sophia Guizzo SEAS’24, Applied Physics
Faculty Mentor: Professor Paz-Soldan
Title: Electron Beams for Cryogenic Pellet Ablation

Abstract: One major area of focus in fusion research is effective disruption mitigation strategies that can halt disruptions in fusion reactors like tokamaks. One method for stopping disruptions is injecting a cryogenic pellet deep into the core of the reactor to cool the runaway electrons. Therefore, a quantitative description of how pellets ablate (burn up) while passing through a plasma is strongly desired by fusion scientists. The Columbia Plasma Physics Lab is working on developing a laboratory setup to measure pellet ablation at Columbia using a high-energy electron beam to ablate frozen pellets. The electron beams will mimic a plasma but have much more controllable properties. The focus of this project was to perform computational analysis using theoretical pellet ablation models to determine the correct parameters for the electron beam and the viability of different pellet materials and setups. The project primary focused on hydrogen and noble gas pellets, and investigated the effect of the electron beam energy, current, and spot size on the expected percentage of the pellet that would be ablated.
Keywords: Plasma, Disruption mitigation, Ablation, Cryogenic pellet, Electron beam.

Jinpai (Max) Zhao SEAS’23, Applied Mathematics
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kyle T. Mandli
Title: Storm Surge Modeling and Validation

Abstract: Coastal communities are home to approximately 40% of the world population. Consequently, loss of property and life has become a major concern when coastal hazards take place. One of the most common, wide-spread hazards is the storm surge, which is the significant and abnormal rise of sea water level caused by storm systems like hurricanes and typhoons. Being able to model and reconstruct these events is considered consequential. The software used was Clawpack (Conservation Law Package), which is a collection of finite volume methods for conservation law problems in linear or non-linear PDE systems. GeoClaw, a variant of the Clawpack, uses the two-dimensional depth-averaged shallow water equation in cooperation with the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) algorithm to model many kinds of flows and waves over topography data with adjustable resolutions. My work used GeoClaw to simulate four major hurricanes in the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. A rigorous verification and validation process between simulation and observation was performed on all storm systems studied. To reduce data collection time and make data more visualizable, an automated analysis program was developed to assist users in advance of storm surge modeling and validation process. The program was also made compatible with GeoClaw, so that majority of storm specific run-time parameters were selected and filled in automatically.
Keywords: Modeling & Simulation; Verification & Validation; Finite Volume Method for Hyperbolic PDE; Geophysical Flow; Natural Hazards; Coastal Community

A student and a professor smiling and standing in front of a research poster.

(left-right) Jinpai (Max) Zhao SEAS’23, and Professor Kyle Mandli