A key role in the research is the tokamak, a nuclear fusion device similar in shape to a bun. Electricity is needed to create the magnetic field that controls the behavior of the plasma. Instead, it is produced by electromagnetic induction.
When it comes to extending the operation of the tokamak, it becomes necessary to limit the inductive current by operating at a steady state. So far, scientists have proposed using radio frequency waves and neutral beams for this purpose, but commercial reactors require minimal use of these external sources to further amplify the fusion.
Yong-Su Na and Jaemin Seo led a team that showed that there may be some kind of intrinsic current in the tokamak that cannot be explained by current theories. Experiments were performed with KSTAR and results are now available in . format Nature Connections.
Nuclear fusion can provide access to cheap, zero-emissions energy
When the research team tried to understand the so-called turbulence of the plasma, they observed under somewhat random conditions an unknown plasma flow. Its share was significant, making up as much as 30 percent of the total influx. It appeared when the turbulence was relatively low. Determination of a previously unknown, self-generated plasma flow without magnetic induction leads to the conclusion that the plasma limits itself and continues the thermonuclear reaction. It is not yet clear why this phenomenon was observed only when the fuel was injected into the plasma.
The result obtained comes from an unknown experiment so that the test proposal did not come from KSTAR. If we try to look at the situation from a traditional point of view, we will not notice it. We were able to discover new things by taking an open perspective rather than limiting ourselves to what we want to see or have.
Young Soo Na concludes