New Recipe For Heating Nuclear Fusion Plasma Boosts Ion Energy Output 10 Times

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According to ScienceAlert

Extracting useful amounts of energy from the merging of atoms is tricky business, not least thanks to the challenges of controlling squirming clouds of ultra-hot plasma.

Our clean power fusion goals could be a step closer now researchers have tweaked their fusion recipe to add a new ion to the mix. This allows researchers to get a better grip on how high-energy charged particles move not just inside reactors on Earth, but potentially provide insights into how they behave in stars.

A team of researchers at MIT have used data from experiments conducted on a type of fusion reactor called a tokamak to explore how adding a third ion to the more traditional two-ion plasma mix shakes things up.

The approach allowed the researchers to develop a way to analyse the efficiency of speeding up charged particles using waves of electromagnetic radiation, which is hugely important in our quest to get more energy from fusion reactions than we currently put in.

In principle, fusion is the recombining of sub-atomic particles from simple, plentiful elements into larger elements, releasing useful amounts of energy in the process.

The benefits would be huge. Unlike nuclear fission, there is theoretically zero waste (and practically very little), and there is no need to refine radioactive ores for fuel.

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This article and images were originally posted on [ScienceAlert] August 23, 2017 at 03:44AM

Credit to Author and ScienceAlert