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
- Middle Schooler Builds Tiny, Working Fusion Reactoron October 7, 2020 at 7:35 am
While nations are spending billions to build football field-sized nuclear fusion reactors — the elusive process of harnessing energy from fusing atoms, rather than breaking them apart — a 12 year old ...
- Nuclear fusion reactor could be here as soon as 2025on October 7, 2020 at 6:19 am
A viable nuclear fusion reactor — one that spits out more energy than it consumes — could be here as soon as 2025. That's the takeaway of seven new studies, published Sept. 29 in the Journal of Plasma ...
- Middle school student achieved nuclear fusion in his family playroomon October 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm
Hours before his 13th birthday, Jackson Oswalt fused together two deuterium atoms using a reactor he had built and operated in the playroom of his family home in Memphis, Tennessee. This could only ...
- Harworth finishes nuclear fusion site ahead of scheduleon October 5, 2020 at 8:47 am
Land regeneration firm Harworth Group has completed the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s new nuclear fusion technology research facility at its flagship Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham two weeks ...
- New Reactor Design Could Produce First Ever Energy-Positive Fusion Reactionon October 5, 2020 at 7:00 am
The SPARC reactor is designed to achieve a Q factor of at least two, which means it will produce twice as much energy as it uses.
- MIT Scientists: Nuclear Fusion Energy Could Be Closer Than Thoughton October 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The reality of a fully operating nuclear fusion power plant just came a step closer as MIT scientists are fairly certain that their new experiment will lead to ...
- This nuclear fusion reactor could be producing clean energy as soon as 2030on October 1, 2020 at 7:09 am
As countries around the world race to rid themselves of fossil fuels, nuclear fusion presents the ultimate opportunity in its promise of an effectively limitless supply of clean energy. While it's ...
- Nuclear fusion reactor could be producing electricity within a decadeon October 1, 2020 at 5:31 am
The SPARC nuclear fusion reactor, a joint project involving Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is expected to begin on June 21 next year and take three or four years until completion.
- Nuclear fusion could produce electricity within a decade, backers sayon September 30, 2020 at 11:55 am
A nuclear fusion reactor creating clean power that could help stem climate change by replicating the process of the sun could be complete within four years and producing electricity within ten, its ...
- We've Long Waited for Fusion. This Reactor May Finally Deliver It—Fast.on September 30, 2020 at 11:07 am
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are collaborating on a new “compact” fusion reactor that could feasibly be built and go online much faster than ...
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