To fuse hydrogen atoms into helium, doughnut-shaped devices called tokamaks must maintain the heat of the ultrahot plasma they control. But like boiling water, plasma has blobs, or bubbles, that percolate within the plasma edge, reducing the performance of the plasma by taking away heat that sustains the fusion reactions.
Energy that originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. This is distinct from a process called fusion where energy is released when atomic nuclei combine or fuse.
New proposal addresses concepts to control fusion power and bring it down to Earth to generate electricity.
A key hurdle for fusion researchers is understanding turbulence, the ripples and eddies that can cause the superhot plasma that fuels fusion reactions to leak heat and particles and keep fusion from taking place. Comprehending and reducing turbulence will facilitate the development of fusion as a safe, clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity from power plants around the world.
Plasma transport analysis, the study of how plasma particles, heat and momentum drift across magnetic field lines, is a necessary first step for understanding how well fusion reactors are performing. Teams of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and General Atomics (GA) have joined forces to bring PPPL’s premier transport code, TRANSP, to beginning users and experts alike.
Detailed computer simulation indicates good news for the international tokamak under construction in France.
Recent experiments have revealed evidence confirming that losses of up to 40 percent of high-energy particles are observed in experiments when many Alfvén waves are excited by deuterium beam ions used to simulate alpha particles and higher-energy beam ions in a fusion reactor.
Physicists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are providing critical expertise for the first full campaign of the world’s largest and most powerful stellarator, a magnetic confinement fusion experiment, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) in Germany.
PPPL physicist Fatima Ebrahimi has for the first time used advanced models to accurately simulate key characteristics of the cyclic behavior of edge-localized modes (ELMs), a particular type of plasma instability
Suppression achieved with second neutral beam injector recently installed on the National Spherical Torus-Experiment.
Fusion power, which lights the sun and stars, requires temperatures of millions of degrees to fuse the particles inside plasma, a soup of charged gas that fuels fusion reactions. Here on Earth, scientists developing fusion as a safe, clean and abundant source of energy must produce temperatures hotter than the core of the sun in doughnut-shaped facilities called tokamaks. Much of the power needed to reach these temperatures comes from high-energy beams that physicists pump into the plasma through devices known as neutral beam injectors.
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