Quantcast
Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Madison Symmetric Torus Stories

Mug Handles May Help Hot Plasma Give Cheaper, Controllable Fusion Energy
2012-10-12 09:28:09

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. A new finding from the University of Washington could help contain and stabilize the plasma using as little as 1 percent of the energy required by current methods. “All of a sudden the current energy goes from being almost too much to almost negligible,” said lead author...

Extreme Plasma Theories Are Being Put To The Test
2012-08-07 13:20:41

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. The results should benefit a wide range of fields, from research aimed at tapping nuclear fusion as an energy source to understanding the inner workings of stars. The study also demonstrates the unique capabilities of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser at the U.S. Department of Energy...

2011-11-11 16:47:19

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics 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. Using a new microwave instrument based on the same principles as police radar guns, researchers from UCLA observed the complex interplay between plasma turbulence and...

2011-11-11 16:46:19

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics 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. Self-generated flows, the spontaneous plasma rotation which arises even when there is no external momentum input, can have a strong beneficial effect on plasma transport and...

2011-11-11 01:51:31

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics 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. But fusion fuel reactions at the heart of magnetic fusion reactors also create leftovers–helium "ash." The buildup of this helium ash and other impurities can cool the hot plasma and reduce fusion power. Research at the MIT...

2011-11-11 01:49:29

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics 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. Researchers installed a movable, 30-ton particle-beam heating system that drives electric current over a broad cross section of the magnetically confined plasma inside the reactor's vacuum vessel. Precise aiming of this beamline allows scientists to vary the...

2011-11-11 01:44:33

News from the 53rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics To achieve nuclear fusion for practical energy production, scientists often use magnetic fields to confine plasma. This creates a magnetic (or more precisely "magneto-hydrodynamic") fluid in which plasma is tied to magnetic field lines, and where regions of plasma can be isolated and heated to very high temperatures–typically 10 times hotter than the core of the sun! At these temperatures the plasma is nearly...

2011-08-05 14:03:37

An instrument developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy'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.  In the experiment at EAST (the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak located at the Institute of Plasma Physics in Hefei, China), scientists...

2011-01-10 14:01:47

Researchers at the University of Warwick's Centre for Fusion Space and Astrophysics and the UK Atomic Energy Authority'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. The researchers used large scale computer simulations to confirm a longstanding prediction by US researchers that high energy alpha particles born in fusion reactions...

2010-11-08 11:35:25

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Fusion plasmas in the laboratory typically reach 100 million degrees. These high temperatures are required to ignite the hydrogen plasma and maintain the fusion burn by the production of high-energy alpha particles. One challenge for a fusion reactor is how to contain the alpha particles in the vessel long enough for the particles to efficiently heat the hydrogen plasma. One way that these alpha particles can escape the...