Fast neural Poincaré maps for toroidal magnetic fields

J. W. Burby, Q. Tang, R. Maulik

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6 Scopus citations


Poincaré maps for toroidal magnetic fields are routinely employed to study gross confinement properties in devices built to contain hot plasmas. In most practical applications, evaluating a Poincaré map requires numerical integration of a magnetic field line, a process that can be slow and that cannot be easily accelerated using parallel computations. We propose a novel neural network architecture, the HénonNet, and show that it is capable of accurately learning realistic Poincaré maps from observations of a conventional field-line-following algorithm. After training, such learned Poincaré maps evaluate much faster than the field-line integration method. Moreover, the HénonNet architecture exactly reproduces the primary physics constraint imposed on field-line Poincaré maps: flux preservation. This structure-preserving property is the consequence of each layer in a HénonNet being a symplectic map. We demonstrate empirically that a HénonNet can learn to mock the confinement properties of a large magnetic island by using coiled hyperbolic invariant manifolds to produce a sticky chaotic region at the desired island location. This suggests a novel approach to designing magnetic fields with good confinement properties that may be more flexible than ensuring confinement using KAM tori.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024001
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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