Nuclear fusion powers the stars and offers the promise of unlimited, clean energy on Earth.
But controlled thermonuclear fusion in the lab usually requires large and expensive magnetic field coils to stably confine burning plasma, ionized nuclei that collide to initiate nuclear fusion. A&A’s Fusion Z-Pinch Experiments (FuZE) Lab has demonstrated a smaller, cheaper method: We have measured sustained nuclear fusion for the first time from a 50-cm long plasma column called a Z-pinch. This method compresses a flowing plasma using electromagnetic forces, which drive the plasma to higher temperatures and densities.
While the Z-pinch is not a new plasma confinement concept, it was largely abandoned as a path for fusion energy because the plasma was not stable, which limited how long it could be confined. To get around this issue, we exploited the fact that flows can stabilize plasma, and our flowing plasma was maintained five thousand times longer than a static plasma. We also observed the sustained release of telltale energetic neutrons signaling nuclear fusion. Because this approach provides a path to nuclear fusion without coils, it could be used in the future for long-duration fusion burns in a compact and low-cost device.
The Latest on: Nuclear fusion
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The Latest on: Nuclear fusion
- International nuclear fusion development points to importance of collaborationon January 11, 2021 at 6:32 pm
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- Nuclear fusion group calls for building a pilot plant by the 2040son January 6, 2021 at 2:13 pm
The main criticism about nuclear fusion has been that its vast potential as a commercial source of energy has always been just out of reach.
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These reactors range from futuristic to portable, giving scientists a lot to explore to cater to different markets. While much attention is paid to the buildup of large nuclear projects of the future, ...
- Korea’s artificial sun broke a record, blazing hotter than the core of the real Sunon January 3, 2021 at 12:02 pm
Sun going full Smaug and devouring Earth in its fiery death throes, could we possibly create a new star? Maybe.
- Pulsotron-4 Volatilized the Nuclear Fusion Energy Generation Record - Advanced Ignition SLon January 2, 2021 at 3:02 pm
The discovery allows them to increase the magnetic field 20-times and plays a pivotal role in nuclear fusion. In a press release, Advanced Ignition SL said Pulsotron-3 led to a positive result.
- South Korea's 'Artificial Sun' Just Broke a World Record in Nuclear Fusionon December 30, 2020 at 4:47 am
South Korea recently set a new world record with their 'artificial sun' by maintaining scorching temperatures twice as long as the previous record holder.
- Is nuclear fusion the answer to the climate crisis?on December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am
Promising new studies suggest the long elusive technology may be capable of producing electricity for the grid by the end of the decade Oscar Schwartz A rendering of Sparc, a nuclear fusion ...
- 2020 in review: Nuclear fusion power is slowly getting closeron December 16, 2020 at 10:11 am
While progress has been made on nuclear fusion, efforts to harness the process that powers the sun were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, so the energy source remains decades away ...
- The UK’s quest for affordable fusion by 2040on December 15, 2020 at 10:15 am
The science of nuclear fusion was proven in the early 1930s, after fusion of hydrogen isotopes was achieved in a laboratory. And we see fusion in action every day. The stars, including our Sun ...
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