Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Little Chaos May Go a Long Way in Future Fusion Energy Reactors

28.10.2003


45th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics


Application of ergodic magnetic field suppresses ELMs.



In work that makes practical, large-scale fusion energy production increasingly feasible, plasma physicists working at DOE’s DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego are using a little chaos to prevent precious energy from escaping fusion energy devices.

In a magnetic fusion device, or tokamak, one of the most crucial regions for reducing the loss of heat and particles is at the plasma region’s edge. Particle crossing this edge leave the plasma, and carry energy with them, degrading the fusion reactor’s walls, and making it harder for the desired fusion energy production to occur. This problem will only increase for next-generation fusion energy machines such as the proposed ITER facility.


As the energy content of the fusion fuel increases, plasma in the edges has a tendency to become unstable, exhibiting a kind of turbulence that physicists call "Edge Localized Modes", commonly referred to as ELMs. In experiments presented this week, an international team of researchers applied chaotic magnetic fields, in which the field lines point in unpredictable directions, to a small edge region of the plasma in the DIII-D experiment. With the chaotic magnetic field they applied, the researchers significantly reduced the ELM instabilities in the DIII-D plasma, enabling more heat to stay trapped in the fusion fuel and preserving the favorable conditions that allow fusion energy production to occur. Assuming that this approach can be extended to next-step fusion energy devices, it holds the promise of increasing the lives of materials that make up fusion-energy device walls without degrading the performance of the plasma fuel.

Contacts
T. E. Evans, General Atomics, 505-842-1234, evans@fusion.gat.com
T. S. Taylor, General Atomics, taylor@fusion.gat.com
Paul Thomas, CEA, France, paul.richard.thomas@gat.com

David Harris | American Physical Society
Further information:
http://www.aps.org/meet/DPP03/baps/abs/S1880037.html
http://www.aps.org/meet/DPP03/baps/abs/S1880038.html
http://gk.umd.edu/DPP/press2.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
21.07.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion
21.07.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>