Latest Madison Symmetric Torus Stories
Researchers around the world are working on an efficient, reliable way to contain the plasma used in fusion reactors, potentially bringing down the cost of this promising but technically elusive energy source.
The first controlled studies of extremely hot, dense matter have overthrown the widely accepted 50-year old model used to explain how ions influence each other's behavior in a dense plasma.
Recent experiments carried out at the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego have allowed scientists to observe how fusion plasmas spontaneously turn off the plasma turbulence responsible for most of the heat loss in plasmas confined by toroidal magnetic fields.
Research on the Alcator C-Mod experiment at MIT has made an unexpected connection between two seemingly unrelated but important phenomena observed in tokamak plasmas: spontaneous plasma rotation and the global energy confinement of the plasma.
A fusion reactor operates best when the hot plasma inside it consists only of fusion fuel (hydrogen's heavy isotopes, deuterium and tritium), much as a car runs best with a clean engine.
A major upgrade to the DIII-D tokamak fusion reactor operated by General Atomics in San Diego will enable it to develop fusion plasmas that can burn indefinitely.
To achieve nuclear fusion for practical energy production, scientists often use magnetic fields to confine plasma.
An instrument developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has enabled a research team at a fusion energy experiment in China to observe--in startling detail--how a particular type of electromagnetic wave known as a radiofrequency (RF) wave affects the behavior of hot ionized gas.
Researchers at the University of Warwickâ€™s Centre for Fusion Space and Astrophysics and the UK Atomic Energy Authorityâ€™s Culham Centre for Fusion Energy may have found a way to channel the flux and fury of a nuclear fusion plasma into a means to help sustain the electric current needed to contain that very same fusion plasma.
Fusion plasmas in the laboratory typically reach 100 million degrees.