Maintaining fuel ions hotter than electrons would greatly facilitate controlled nuclear fusion. Alpha channeling is a technique that can potentially extract energy from fusion alpha particles before the energy is lost to the electrons, through collisions and transfer to the background fuel ions, thus maintaining the temperature differential. This invention proposes a new method to enhance the parameter range. The alpha-channeling technique, which is achieved through minority ion heating by using a wave that can extract energy from the hot alpha particles and transfer the energy to the colder minority ions, acts as a catalyst, eventually forwarding the energy to colder fuel ions through collisions.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
© 2018 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.