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Using these ideas, the scientists [at PPL] developed a "stability map" that allows a plasma to be monitored in real-time -- with 1/1000 of a second resolution -- to determine whether it is stable and how close it is to being unstable. If you know how fast the plasma is rotating and the collisionality [frequency of particle collision], you can use the stability map to see if the plasma is stable, as shown in the accompanying, for an experiment at the National Spherical Torus Experiment at PPPL
The problems started with a blockage in a water-cooling coil inside the reactor and the inspection of that coil led to the discovery of other issues, said Andrew Zwicker, a physicist at the lab and spokesperson for issues regarding the reactor.
"We needed to do a very meticulous check of all of our systems," said Zwicker...
Scientists decided to take apart the massive reactor in order to examine and test its parts. Given the size of the device, it could take a full year, Zwicker said.
An institute in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province, succeeded in using a tokamak to achieve a high-constraint-model plasma driven by non-inductive electricity for over 60 seconds.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories Z Machine have opened a new chapter in their 20-year journey toward higher fusion outputs by introducing tritium, the most neutron-laden isotope of hydrogen, to their targets' fuel.
This thing about creating energy where none existed before—we don't yet have a bonfire, but we're squirting starter on the grill," said Mike Cuneo, senior manager of Sandia's Pulsed Power Accelerator Science and Technology group.
"We're going to crawl before we walk and run," said Cuneo. "We will gradually increase that fraction in contained experiments as we go."
Only two other Department of Energy-supported, high-energy-density research sites, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, had been approved to use tritium
The Sandia experiments use electromagnetics to smash Z's more massive target and its entire target support area like they were hit by a sledgehammer.
It will be at least three years before experiments approach the 50/50 mix of tritium and deuterium, depending on funding and Sandia and NNSA priorities for Z.
The ITER Council has approved an updated schedule for the huge fusion experimental facility that is currently being built in Cadarache, France. At a meeting held from 16 to 17 November, the council approved the plan that was proposed by the ITER organization earlier this year with first plasma set for 2025 – a delay of five years – and ITER only moving onto deuterium-tritium fuel in 2035.
Scientists at the... Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University have proposed a groundbreaking solution to a mystery that has puzzled physicists for decades. At issue is how magnetic reconnection, a universal process that sets off solar flares, northern lights and cosmic gamma-ray bursts, occurs so much faster than theory says should be possible. The answer could aid forecasts of space storms, explain several high-energy astrophysical phenomena, and improve plasma confinement in... tokamaks designed to obtain energy from nuclear fusion.
The paper describes how the plasmoid [small magnetic islands] instability begins in a slow linear phase that goes through a period of quiescence before accelerating into an explosive phase that triggers a dramatic increase in the speed of magnetic reconnection. To determine the most important features of this instability, the researchers adapted a variant of the 17th century "principle of least time" originated by the mathematician Pierre de Fermat.
Use of this principle enabled the researchers to derive equations for the duration of the linear phase, and for computing the growth rate and number of plasmoids created. Hence, this least-time approach led to a quantitative formula for the onset time of fast magnetic reconnection and the physics behind it.
How precisely the field structure needed – a setup of closed magnetic surfaces nested in one another – can be generated by the specially shaped superconducting stellarator coils is now clear. Deviations from the calculated target shape are within a hundred-thousandth: A magnetic field line traced for a distance of 100 metres, i.e. the extent of a football pitch, will be spot on target to within a millimetre.