Computer simulation of the sequence of events in the reconnection process. Shown are contours of constant pressure at different times. As the current starts to become negative, the reconnection process begins and moves the center rapidly to the edge, effectively clamping the current in the center at zero
Doughnuts of plasma can be coaxed into configurations with hollow current rings, providing practical advantages over conventional “filled doughnut” shapes. Simulations suggest they will allow faster turn-on and greater efficiency of future nuclear fusion power plants.
Toroidal tokamaks, doughnut-shaped experimental fusion reactors, use a complex system of magnetic fields to hold a plasma together. Electrical currents flowing in the plasma itself are essential for making the internal magnetic fields needed for confinement. Plasma doughnuts normally carry large electrical currents throughout their volume but researchers expected the direction of the current could be changed back and forth.
However, in recent experiments at the Joint European Torus (JET) and JT-60U tokamaks in England and Japan, researchers tried to reverse the current and found, to their surprise, that the current doughnut became hollow.
David Harris | EurekAlert!
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A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
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