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
- World’s largest tokamak nuclear reactor decommissioned in UK after 40 yearson February 29, 2024 at 2:48 pm
Set up in 1983, the JET nuclear fusion reactor led the way for development of tokamak technology and leaves a long legacy behind.
- Expert voices: TDK Venture's Nicolas Sauvage on fusionon February 29, 2024 at 9:09 am
A century from now our civilization will wonder why we waited so long to invest in nuclear fusion, says TDK Ventures President Nicolas Sauvage. Why it matters: The VC arm of Japanese electronics giant ...
- Oxfordshire nuclear fusion reactor celebrates 40 years of pioneering scientific discoverieson February 29, 2024 at 7:58 am
Scientists hope nuclear fusion, a process that powers the sun, could be our main source of energy within the next half century. | ITV News Meridian ...
- Scientists May Have Tamed Fusion’s #1 Nemesison February 29, 2024 at 4:00 am
But scientists from Princeton, as well as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), are employing AI to avoid these plasma mishaps and hopefully keep future fusion reactions from this particular ...
- Tech companies aim to harness nuclear fusion in ways that have never been done beforeon February 29, 2024 at 12:38 am
Globally, more than 40 tech companies are experimenting with 20 different methods in hopes of recreating the same type of energy process that has powered the sun and other stars for billions of years.
- How do you recycle a nuclear fusion reactor? We're about to find outon February 28, 2024 at 3:59 pm
The JET nuclear fusion reactor in Oxfordshire, UK, set many records over its 40 years of operation, pushing forward our understanding of how to spark and contain reactions of the type normally only ...
- Tech companies aim to harness nuclear fusion in ways never been done beforeon February 28, 2024 at 3:59 pm
Long hailed as an impossibility, harnessing nuclear fusion to power homes, businesses, cars and even airplanes is now widely viewed by scientists and engineers as a very real prospect that would ...
- Fusion reactor decommissioned after 40 yearson February 28, 2024 at 6:25 am
The decommissioning of a "world-leading" nuclear fusion reactor has begun after 40 years of operation.The Joint European Torus (JET) facility in Culham, Oxfordshire, ended experiments in December.In ...
- Nuclear fusion reactor decommissioning begins after 40 yearson February 28, 2024 at 6:25 am
The decommissioning of a "world-leading" nuclear fusion reactor has begun after 40 years of operation. The Joint European Torus (JET) facility in Culham, Oxfordshire, ended experiments in December. In ...
- AI Just Cleared A Big Hurdle On The Road To Nuclear Fusion Energyon February 26, 2024 at 5:48 am
Fusion – the nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei combine and form new nuclei and subatomic particles – has long been the dream as an energy source: it’s non-polluting, safe, and ...
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