Nuclear fusion: Physicists were wrong about the processes occurring in a very important region of the plasma
| Astronomy/Physics


Nuclear fusion may occur in the future An inexhaustible source of clean energyFusion research is conducted, among other things, in tokamaks, where the trapped plasma is controlled using magnets. One important way to improve the control of plasma confinement is neutral beam injection (NBI), which heats it to 150 million degrees Celsius. NBI not only heats the plasma, but also causes it to circulate around the tokamak chamber, which is expected to improve the quality of confinement.

Scientists from General Atomics and the University of California San Diego conducted the research using the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Frontier. precise Simulation Turbulence at the edges of the plasma gave amazing results.

The edges of the plasma are a very important area because they determine how energy and heat are trapped throughout the plasma. However, performing calculations for this area is very difficult. It is necessary to take into account the subtle and often overlooked interactions between very heavy ions and very light electronssays lead study author Emily Bailey. When scientists do not have accurate data in this field, they must rely only on knowledge from ion physics or electron physics. They are unable to describe the interactions between them. This has been made possible thanks to bordersAdds the scientist.

Bailey’s team modeled the effects of plasma rotation on ions and electrons. Previous research has shown that rotation reduces turbulence caused by ions. It was also assumed that it does not affect electrons because it is light and fast. However, the simulations we just ran showed just the opposite. They found that when interactions between ions and electrons are taken into account, the spin increases turbulence, which in turn reduces the confinement quality of the plasma. […] This is not good for the reactor“He explains to Bella,”

The discovery may lead to improved methods for working with tokamaks, including the most famous and largest, ITER, which is scheduled to launch for the first time next year.

Nuclear fusion: Physicists were wrong about the processes occurring in a very important region of the plasma

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