Scientists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory say they have found a new way to initiate nuclear fusion reactions.
The new technique, described in a research published last month in the journal. Physics of plasmas, provides an alternative means for reactors to convert gas into the superheated plasma that makes fusion reactions work with less equipment that occupies a valuable laboratory space, another step on the long road to practical fusion power.
Outside with the old
Right in the center of a tokamak, a common type of experimental nuclear fusion reactor, there is a large central magnet that helps generate plasma. The new technique, called "transient coaxial helical injection", eliminates the magnet, but continues to generate a stable reaction, freeing the space occupied by the magnet for other equipment.
"The good news from this study," said Kenneth Hammond, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute, in a press release, "is that the projections for startup on large-scale devices look promising."
READ MORE: Ready, smart, smart: scientists evaluate a novel technique to ignite the fusion reaction fuel[SalarydactionofthePrincetonPlasmaPhysicsLaboratoryatravésde[PrincetonPlasmaPhysicsLaboratorynewsroomvia[SaladeredaccióndelPrincetonPlasmaPhysicsLaboratoryatravésde[PrincetonPlasmaPhysicsLaboratorynewsroomviaDaily science]
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