Tagged: Fusion technology Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 8:23 pm on May 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "1D model helps clarify implosion performance at NIF", , , , Fusion technology, ,   

    From National Ignition Facility at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (US) : “1D model helps clarify implosion performance at NIF” 

    From National Ignition Facility at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (US)

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(US)/National Ignition Facility

    4.30.21

    Michael Padilla
    padilla37@llnl.gov
    925-341-8692

    1
    These images depict various laser profiles used in the inertial confinement fusion research and provides the experimental set-up for the VISAR-based shock velocity measurement and representative streaked data.

    In inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a spherical shell of deuterium-tritium fuel is imploded in an attempt to reach the conditions needed for fusion, self-heating and eventual ignition. Since theory and simulations indicate that ignition efficacy in one-dimension (1D) improves with increasing imploded fuel convergence ratio, it is useful to understand the sensitivity of the scale-invariant fuel convergence on all measurable or inferable 1D parameters.

    In a paper featured in Physics of Plasmas , researchers have developed a compression scaling model that is benchmarked to 1D implosion simulations spanning a variety of relevant implosion designs. This model is used to compare compressibility trends across all existing indirect-drive layered implosion data for three ablators.

    “The best level of compression of the various designs of indirect-drive implosions at NIF that have used plastic polymer and beryllium shells follow the expectations of a simple physics model,” said Otto “Nino” Landen from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) who served as lead author. “This has allowed us to rule out certain previously hypothesized effects such as hot electron preheat.”

    A major exception is the high-density carbon shells that have so far exhibited a remarkably constant lower level of compression, independent of the laser drive conditions, he said.

    “Achieving ignition is fundamentally recognized as a trade-off between more energy coupled to the capsule requiring more efficient hohlraums or a larger laser, and improving the level of capsule compression,” Landen said. “So, understanding what the NIF implosion database has told us so far about compression trends as we varied laser and capsule parameters seemed important as a first step to motivating further research in improving compression without necessarily resorting to a higher laser energy demand.”

    This trending work is part of improving understanding of and optimizing ICF implosion performance on the quest for robust ignition that also could be applied to the direct-drive ICF database.

    The work was conducted by first validating a simple analytic model for the level of capsule compression as a function of various laser and capsule parameters by comparing to 1D simulations.

    Researchers then compared the compression model scaling to all NIF cryogenic implosions shot to date using a combination of existing optical, X-ray and nuclear data, so essentially a physics-grounded empirical approach. This also required developing approximate analytic models for relating the expected compressibility of the implosion to the X-ray driven pressure profile applied to it in the hohlraum as measured by the NIF VISAR system.

    Landen said that since high-density carbon shells are currently giving the best neutron yields despite the reduced compression trends presented in this paper, researchers have increased focus on testing physics-based hypotheses such as hydrodynamic instabilities leading to mixing between the shell and DT, and as yet untested schemes for improving compression in high-density carbon shell implosions.

    The work was conducted by researchers from LLNL, University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics(LLE) and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Co-authors include: John Lindl, Steve Haan, Daniel Casey, Peter Celliers, David Fittinghoff, Narek Gharibyan, Gary Grim, Ed Hartouni, Omar Hurricane, Brian MacGowan, Stephan MacLaren, Marius Millot, Jose Milovich, Prav Patel, Paul Springer and John Edwards from LLNL; Kevin. Meaney, Harry Robey and Petr Volegov from LANL; and Valeri Goncharov from LLE.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Ignition Facility, is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research device, located at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF uses lasers to heat and compress a small amount of hydrogen fuel with the goal of inducing nuclear fusion reactions. NIF’s mission is to achieve fusion ignition with high energy gain, and to support nuclear weapon maintenance and design by studying the behavior of matter under the conditions found within nuclear weapons. NIF is the largest and most energetic ICF device built to date, and the largest laser in the world.

    Construction on the NIF began in 1997 but management problems and technical delays slowed progress into the early 2000s. Progress after 2000 was smoother, but compared to initial estimates, NIF was completed five years behind schedule and was almost four times more expensive than originally budgeted. Construction was certified complete on 31 March 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy, and a dedication ceremony took place on 29 May 2009. The first large-scale laser target experiments were performed in June 2009 and the first “integrated ignition experiments” (which tested the laser’s power) were declared completed in October 2010.

    Bringing the system to its full potential was a lengthy process that was carried out from 2009 to 2012. During this period a number of experiments were worked into the process under the National Ignition Campaign, with the goal of reaching ignition just after the laser reached full power, some time in the second half of 2012. The Campaign officially ended in September 2012, at about 1⁄10 the conditions needed for ignition. Experiments since then have pushed this closer to 1⁄3, but considerable theoretical and practical work is required if the system is ever to reach ignition. Since 2012, NIF has been used primarily for materials science and weapons research.

    [caption id="attachment_69836" align="alignnone" width="400"] National Igniton Facility- NIF at LLNL

    The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is an American federal research facility in Livermore, California, United States, founded by the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. A Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), it is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. In 2012, the laboratory had the synthetic chemical element livermorium named after it.

    LLNL is self-described as “a premier research and development institution for science and technology applied to national security.” Its principal responsibility is ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons through the application of advanced science, engineering and technology. The Laboratory also applies its special expertise and multidisciplinary capabilities to preventing the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction, bolstering homeland security and solving other nationally important problems, including energy and environmental security, basic science and economic competitiveness.

    Operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration

    NNSA

     
  • richardmitnick 4:33 pm on May 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Successfully mitigating plasma instabilities", , Fusion technology,   

    From MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE): “Successfully mitigating plasma instabilities” 

    MPIPP bloc

    From MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE)

    April 30, 2021

    A new technique should protect future fusion devices from damage caused by fast plasma electrons.

    A new method to slow down electrons escaping from the magnetic cage has been developed by a team from the EUROfusion – European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy (EU), the European JET device, the international ITER experimental reactor and the DIII-D fusion device in the US. The new technique may end up protecting the inner vessel walls of future fusion power plants, the team writes in the physics journal Physical Review Letters. The numerical simulation of the processes and the theoretical explanation of the underlying plasma instabilities were provided by a team around plasma theorists at IPP.

    1
    Simulation of the JET plasma at different stages: Shown is the formation of magnetic islands, the momentary dissolution of the magnetic field structure, which disperses and removes the fast electrons over a large area, and after 194 microseconds, the reconstitution of the field. Grafic: Vinodh Kumar Bandaru, IPP.

    n order to ignite the fusion fire in a future power plant, the fuel – a low-density, ionised hydrogen plasma – must succeed in being confined in magnetic fields almost without contact and heated to a high temperature of over 100 million degrees. Unfortunately, a whole series of instabilities can develop in the interaction of the charged plasma particles with the confining magnetic field – including, in tokamak-type fusion plants, so-called current disruptions: the electric current flowing in the plasma, which builds up part of the magnetic cage, is then lost within a few milliseconds. Electrons in the plasma can be accelerated and sweep away other, slower electrons like an avalanche, until finally a concentrated high-energy electron beam strikes the inner wall of the plasma vessel. The larger the facility, the stronger the effect. At the international experimental reactor ITER, it would be powerful enough to cause significant damage to the vessel surface.

    To calm down this instability and radiate the released energy evenly, heavy atoms such as argon were previously shot into the plasma. In smaller tokamak devices, a second dose of heavy atoms was then sufficient to get rid of the electron runaways. In the large European joint experiment JET in Culham, Great Britain, however, this technique proved less effective; this left an unsolved problem for the even larger ITER.

    Based on observations at the US fusion device DIII-D in San Diego, a team of European and US fusion researchers led by Cédric Reux of the French CEA has now been able to show at JET that deuterium atoms injected into the plasma as a second dose can effectively suppress the unwanted fast electrons. The study, in which also scientists from IPP were involved, has now been published in the journal “Physical Review Letters”.

    The theoretical explanation for the physical processes in this JET experiment was already published in February in “Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion”. The international team around IPP scientists Vinodh Kumar Bandaru and Matthias Hölzl succeeded in computationally modelling the termination of the electron beam triggered by the second deuterium injection. The non-linear magnetohydrodynamic simulation agrees well with the observed phenomena and their temporal development. It can also reproduce the spread of the electron beam observed along the circumference of the vessel and thus explain why the dreaded hotspots are avoided. The work therefore supports the expectation of being able to develop an effective beam termination scenario for ITER.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE), IPP)is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren] (DE).
    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:39 pm on April 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Plasma acceleration- It’s all in the mix", , , Fusion technology, German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] DESY (DE), , LUX team is celebrating not just one but two milestones in the development of innovative plasma accelerators., , , Plasma acceleration is an innovative technology that is giving rise to a new generation of particle accelerators which are not only remarkably compact but also extremely versatile., The aim is to make the accelerated electrons available for applications in various different fields of industry; science; and medicine.   

    From German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] DESY (DE): “Plasma acceleration- It’s all in the mix” 

    From German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] DESY (DE)

    2021/04/27

    A pinch of nitrogen and artificial intelligence are moving laser plasma acceleration a big step closer to practical applications

    The LUX team at DESY is celebrating not just one but two milestones in the development of innovative plasma accelerators. The scientists from the University of Hamburg [Universität Hamburg] (DE) and DESY used their accelerator to test a technique that allows the energy distribution of the electron beams produced to be kept particularly narrow. They also used artificial intelligence to allow the accelerator to optimise its own operation. The scientists are reporting their experiments in two papers published shortly after one another in the journal Physical Review Letters.

    Physical Review Letters

    Physical Review Letters

    “It’s fantastic to see the speed with which the new technology of plasma acceleration is reaching a level of maturity where it can be used in a wide range of applications,” congratulates Wim Leemans, Director of the Accelerator Division at DESY.

    1
    In laser plasma acceleration, an intense laser pulse (red) in an ionised gas drives a bubble-shaped plasma wave consisting of electrons (white). An electron bunch (centre) riding this wave like a surfer is thus accelerated to high energies over shortest distances. The rendering is based on real simulation data from the LUX experiment (picture: DESY/SciComLab).

    Plasma acceleration is an innovative technology that is giving rise to a new generation of particle accelerators which are not only remarkably compact but also extremely versatile. The aim is to make the accelerated electrons available for applications in various different fields of industry; science; and medicine.

    The acceleration takes place in a tiny channel, just a few millimetres long, filled with an ionised gas called a plasma. An intense laser pulse generates a wave within the channel, which can capture and accelerate electrons from the plasma. “Like a surfer, the electrons are carried along by the plasma wave, which accelerates them to high energies,” explains Manuel Kirchen, lead author of one of the papers. “Using this technique, plasma accelerators are able to achieve accelerations that are up to a thousand times higher than those of the most powerful machines in use today,” adds Sören Jalas, author of the second paper.

    However, this compactness is both a curse and a blessing: since the acceleration process is concentrated in a tiny space that is up to 1000 times smaller than conventional, large-scale machines, the acceleration takes place under truly extreme conditions. Therefore, a number of challenges still have to be overcome before the new technology is ready to go into series production.

    The research team led by Andreas Maier, an accelerator physicist at DESY, has now reached two critical milestones at the LUX test facility – jointly operated by DESY and the University of Hamburg: they have found a way of significantly reducing the energy distribution of the accelerated electron bunches – one of the most essential properties for many potential applications. To do this, they programmed a self-learning autopilot for the accelerator, which automatically optimises LUX for maximum performance.

    The group conducted its experiments using a new type of plasma cell, specially developed for the purpose, whose plasma channel is divided into two regions. The plasma is generated from a mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen in the front part of the cell, which is about 10 millimetres long, while the region behind it is filled with pure hydrogen. As a result, the researchers were able to obtain the electrons for their particle bunch from the front part of the plasma cell, which were then accelerated over the entire rear section of the cell. “Being more tightly bound, the electrons in the nitrogen are released a little later, and that makes them ideal for being accelerated by the plasma wave,” explains Manuel Kirchen. The electron bunch also absorbs energy from the plasma wave, changing the shape of the wave. “We were able to take advantage of this effect and adjust the shape of the wave so that the electrons reach the same energy regardless of their position along the wave,” adds Kirchen.

    Based on this recipe for achieving high electron beam quality, the team then scored a second research success: Sören Jalas and his colleagues were able to use artificial intelligence (IA) to modify an algorithm that controls and optimises the complex system of the plasma accelerator. To do so, the scientists provided the algorithm with a functional model of the plasma accelerator and a set of adjustable parameters, which the algorithm then optimised on its own. Essentially, the system modified five main parameters, including the concentration and density of the gases and the energy and focus of the laser, and used the resulting measurements to search for an operating point at which the electron beam has the optimum quality. “In the course of its balancing act in 5-dimensional space, the algorithm was constantly learning and very quickly refined the model of the accelerator further and further,” says Jalas. “The AI takes about an hour to find a stable optimum operating point for the accelerator; by comparison, we estimate that human beings would need over a week.”

    A further advantage is that all the parameters and measured variables continue to train the accelerator’s AI model, making the optimisation process faster, more systematic and more targeted. “The latest progress at LUX means we are well on the way to trying out initial applications for test purposes,” explains Andreas Maier, who is in charge of developing lasers for plasma accelerators at DESY. “Ultimately, we also want to use plasma-accelerated electron bunches to operate a free-electron laser.”

    The experiments were conducted by researchers from the CFEL Center for Free-Electron Laser Science Germany [L Zentrum für Freie-Elektronen-Laser] (DE), a collaboration between DESY, the University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Society [Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.], as well as a colleague from the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    desi

    German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] DESY (DE) is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life. The accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds are unique research tools. The facilities generate the world’s most intense X-ray light, accelerate particles to record energies and open completely new windows onto the universe. 
That makes DESY not only a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers from over 40 countries every year, but also a coveted partner for national and international cooperations. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. The research centre offers specialized training for a large number of professions. DESY cooperates with industry and business to promote new technologies that will benefit society and encourage innovations. This also benefits the metropolitan regions of the two DESY locations, Hamburg and Zeuthen near Berlin.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:21 pm on April 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FES DIII-D National Fusion Facility, Fusion technology, ITER Tokamak in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, , Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research Project [ 초전도 핵융합연구장치]   

    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory : “Fooling fusion fuel: How to discipline unruly plasma” 

    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    April 23, 2021
    John Greenwald

    1
    Physicist Jong-Kyu Park in Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research Project [ 초전도 핵융합연구장치]control room, left, and with figures from paper, right. (Control room photo courtesy of KSTAR; collage and right-hand photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications.)

    The process designed to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars can sometimes be tricked. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics laboratory have derived and demonstrated a bit of slight-of-hand called “quasi-symmetry” that could accelerate the development of fusion energy as a safe, clean and virtually limitless source of power for generating electricity.

    Fusion reactions combine light elements in the form of plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — to generate massive amounts of energy. Scientists around the world are seeking to reproduce the process in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks that heat the plasma to million-degree temperatures and confine it in symmetrical magnetic fields produced by coils to create fusion reactions.

    Crucial issue

    A crucial issue for these efforts is maintaining the fast rotation of the doughnut-shaped plasma that swirls within a tokamak. However, small magnetic field distortions, or ripples, caused by misalignment of the magnetic field coils can slow the plasma motion, making it more unstable. The coil misalignments and resulting field ripples are tiny, as small as 1 part in 10,000 parts of the field, but they can have a significant impact.

    Maintaining stability in future tokamaks such as ITER, the international facility going up in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy, will be essential to harvesting the energy to generate electricity.

    One way to minimize the impact of the field ripples is to add additional magnets to cancel out, or heal, the effect of magnetic field errors. However, field ripples can never be completely cancelled and there has been no optimal method for mitigating their effects until now.

    The newly discovered method calls for fooling the swirling plasma particles by canceling out the magnetic field errors along the path they travel. “A way to preserve rotation while providing stability is to change the shape of the magnetic field so that the particles are fooled into thinking that they are not moving in a rippled magnetic field,” said PPPL physicist Jong-Kyu Park, lead author of a paper in Physical Review Letters (PRL) that proposes a solution. “We need to make the 3D field inside the plasma quasi-symmetric to fool the particles into behaving as if they were not affected by the fields,” Park said.

    Quasi-symmetry

    Quasi-symmetry, a form of magnetic field symmetry introduced by physicists studying twisty magnetic confinement systems called stellarators, can be used to minimize the negative effects of 3D fields in tokamaks. Such minimization can improve both the energy confinement and stability of the plasma by enhancing its rotational flow.

    “If you can modify these 3D fields to reduce the tendency of the particles to drift away from where they started, then we can maintain the natural plasma rotation and the confinement of particles and heat,” said PPPL physicist Raffi Nazikian, a co-author of the paper.

    Park and colleagues have demonstrated the use of quasi-symmetry to render mostly harmless the error-field ripples in tokamaks. Tests on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility and the KSTAR project | KOREA INSTITUTE OF FUSION ENERGY [초전도 핵융합연구장치] (KR) have shown positive results. The process “provides a reliable path of comprehensive error field optimization in fusion burning plasmas,” according to the paper.

    While such optimizations will be vital, scientists typically use magnetic field ripples to cope with other problems. For example, on DIII-D, researchers have used special coils to reduce or eliminate edge localized modes (ELMs) — explosive bursts of heat that can damage the interior of tokamaks.

    Important examples

    Such cases are the most important example of the good use of ripples and the new findings mark a breakthrough in dealing with the bad ones. “Jong-Kyu has taken the algorithms to tailor the tokamak’s troublesome three-dimensional magnetic fields to a new level,” said Carlos Paz-Soldan, co-author of the paper as a DIII-D physicist and now an associate professor at Columbia University. “This framework will certainly be the basis upon which future control strategies for these fields are developed,” Paz-Soldan said.

    Scientists are also actively pursuing the concept of quasi-symmetry to optimize the design of stellarator fusion facilities that intrinsically operate with 3D fields. The concept has demonstrated success in minimizing the loss of heat and particles in stellarators, a long-standing problem with the cruller-shaped facilities that use a set of complex twisted coils that spiral like stripes on a candy cane to produce magnetic fields.

    The stellarator work illustrates the wide-ranging applicability of quasi-symmetry in fusion research. The next step, said Park, will be to apply the concept to ITER, “so we can do a good job to correct the error fields in that tokamak.”

    Co-authors of this paper include physicists at PPPL, General Atomics, and the Korea Institute for Fusion Energy. Support for this work comes from the DOE Office of Science and the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT.

    About the DIII-D National Fusion Facility: DIII-D is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. and has been the site of numerous pioneering contributions to the development of fusion energy science. DIII-D continues the drive toward practical fusion energy with critical research conducted in collaboration with more than 600 scientists representing over 100 institutions worldwide. For more information visit http://www.ga.com/diii-d

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    PPPL campus

    Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University. PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. Results of PPPL research have ranged from a portable nuclear materials detector for anti-terrorist use to universally employed computer codes for analyzing and predicting the outcome of fusion experiments. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science.

    About Princeton: Overview
    Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

    As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

    Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students. The University’s generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.

    Princeton Shield

     
  • richardmitnick 5:13 pm on March 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Blueprint for a fusion power plant", , Fusion technology, ,   

    MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE): “Blueprint for a fusion power plant” 

    MPIPP bloc

    MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE)

    March 24, 2021

    Arne Kallenbach
    info@ipp.mpg.de

    Isabella Milch
    +49 89 3299-1288
    +49 89 3299-2622
    isabella.milch@ipp.mpg.de

    On 21 March 1991, the Asdex Upgrade experimental facility at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching generated the first plasma.

    For 30 years*, the Asdex Upgrade has been paving the way for a fusion power plant that generates climate-neutral energy. The tokamak fusion plant was repeatedly expanded and improved during this time. Not least for this reason, it provides numerous insights that are incorporated into the design and operation of other fusion plants. For example, the Asdex Upgrade team has developed scenarios for the operation of the Jet test plant in the UK and the Iter test plant in France as well as forecasts for a planned demonstration power plant.

    1
    JET, based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), UK, is the central research facility of the European Fusion Programme, and it is the largest and most successful fusion experiment in the world.


    ITER Tokamak in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, which is in southern France.

    A conversion planned for mid-2022 is intended to prepare the plant for the future.

    3
    The plasma vessel from Asdex Upgrade. At the bottom you can see the divertor’s baffle plates. Credit: Volker Rohde.

    The goal of fusion research is to develop a climate- and environment-friendly power plant. Like the sun, its purpose is to derive energy from the fusion of atomic nuclei. The fuel for this is an extremely thin, ionized hydrogen gas – a plasma. To ignite the fusion fire, the plasma must be enclosed in magnetic fields almost without contact and heated to over 100 million degrees.

    In order to regulate the interaction between the hot fuel and the surrounding walls, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics have equipped the Asdex Upgrade with a divertor, which has given the plant its name: Axial symmetric divertor experiment. Through an additional magnetic field, the divertor field removes impurities from the plasma and improves its thermal insulation.

    However, in contrast to its predecessor Asdex, the Asdex Upgrade, the divertor and important properties of the plasma, especially the density and the load on the walls, are more closely adapted to the conditions in a later power plant. Equipped with a powerful plasma heater and sophisticated measuring equipment for observing the plasma, the Asdex Upgrade can therefore be used to develop operating modes for a potential power plant. In 38,700 plasma discharges to date, the plant has answered essential research questions for the European joint experiment Jet and the international experimental reactor Iter as well as a planned demonstration power plant.

    A tungsten wall for the plasma vessel

    4
    View into the plasma of Asdex Upgrade. The edge of the plasma is directed onto the robust divertor plates at the bottom of the vessel. Credit: MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik](DE)

    With the Asdex Upgrade, the researchers took a significant step towards a future fusion power plant when they clad the wall of the plasma vessel with tungsten instead of carbon. Carbon has considerable advantages for experimental plants. However, it is unsuitable for the operation of a power plant because it is too strongly eroded by the plasma and binds too much fuel to itself. Because of its high melting point, tungsten is well suited as a wall material – at least in principle. But the plasma cools down quickly because of even the smallest impurities in the tungsten atoms that are repeatedly released from the wall. After a lot of experimentation, the Asdex upgrade team has been able to deal with this problem.

    Direct consequences of this success: In a major rebuild, the European joint experiment Jet received a tungsten divertor in 2011. The international experimental reactor Iter team decided to forego the initially planned experiments with a carbon divertor and go straight for tungsten. Tungsten is also the reference material for the demonstration power plant.

    Injecting hydrogen prevents instabilities

    In the interaction of the charged plasma particles with the confining magnetic field, various disturbances of the plasma confinement can occur. These include instabilities at the plasma edge or ELMs (edge localized modes). In the process, the edge plasma briefly loses its confinement and periodically throws plasma particles and energy outwards onto the vessel walls. While medium-sized plants such as the Asdex Upgrade are able to cope with this, the divertor in large plants such as Iter could become overloaded. In order to solve this problem, procedures to prevent instabilities were developed for the Asdex Upgrade. Sixteen small magnetic coils in the plasma vessel completely suppress the instability with their fields. A second method starts at the outermost plasma edge. If the right plasma shape can be set – via the magnetic field – while ensuring a sufficiently high particle density – by injecting hydrogen – ELMs cannot develop.

    Ensuring continuous operation

    Continuous operation is guaranteed by fusion plants of the tokamak type – such as the Asdex Upgrade, Jet, or Iter – which construct the magnetic cage with two superimposed magnetic fields: a ring-shaped field generated by external magnetic coils and the field of a current flowing in the plasma. By combining the magnetic fields, the field lines are twisted in such a way that they enclose the plasma. The plasma current is normally induced in a pulse-wise manner by a transformer coil in the plasma. Unlike the more complicated stellarators, the entire system operates in pulses – a shortcoming of the tokamaks.

    Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics are therefore investigating various methods of continuously generating the current in the plasma. For example, by injecting high-frequency waves or particle beams that drive an additional current in the plasma. They have thus succeeded in operating the system almost without a transformer – and for the first time in a machine with a practically-relevant metallic inner wall. If the Asdex Upgrade had not been equipped with normally conducting copper coils but rather superconducting magnetic coils (as was the case for Iter), this phase could have been extended for much longer – potentially up to continuous operation.

    What will happen next

    During the 30 years of operation of the Asdex Upgrade, the divertor shape has been changed and optimized several times. The researchers now want to go a step further and test a new divertor concept. Two additional magnetic coils on the roof of the plasma vessel are intended to fan out the divertor field so that the power from the plasma is distributed over a larger area. Assembly of the coils is scheduled to begin in mid-2022. Such expansions will also enable future investigations at the Garching tokamak to solve the problems of a future demonstration power plant. “In many ways, the Asdex Upgrade can be seen as a blueprint for a tokamak fusion power plant”, says Project Leader Arne Kallenbach. “Together with newly developed computer codes, the sample discharges developed over 30 years provide reliable information for a power plant”.

    [*For 30 years, Fusion has been coming in 30 years.]

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MPIPP campus

    The Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics [Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik] (DE), IPP)is a physics institute for the investigation of plasma physics, with the aim of working towards fusion power. The institute also works on surface physics, also with focus on problems of fusion power.

    The IPP is an institute of the Max Planck Society, part of the European Atomic Energy Community, and an associated member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren] (DE).

    The IPP has two sites: Garching near Munich (founded 1960) and Greifswald (founded 1994), both in Germany.

    It owns several large devices, namely

    the experimental tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (in operation since 1991)

    ASDEX tokamak at MPG Institute for Plasma Physics.

    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-AS (in operation until 2002)

    KIT Wendelstein 7-AS built in built in Greifswald, Germany.


    the experimental stellarator Wendelstein 7-X (awaiting licensing)
    a tandem accelerator

    Wendelstein7-X, built in Greifswald, Germany, by the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics.

    It also cooperates with the ITER and JET projects.

    ITER experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is being built next to the Cadarache facility in Saint Paul les-Durance south of France.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:23 pm on March 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory(US), Fusion technology, Magnetic Reconnection Experiment at PPPL, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, PPPL NSTX -U Tokamak at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory   

    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory(US): “Scientists find clues to a process occurring throughout the universe that affects fusion energy” 


    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory(US)

    March 12, 2021
    Raphael Rosen

    1
    PPPL physicist Jongsoo Yoo with the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment and visualizations of Earth’s magnetosphere Credit: Elle Starkman.

    New research reveals a surprising insight into the physics behind magnetic reconnection, a process occurring through the universe that converts magnetic to kinetic energy.

    NASA Magnetic reconnection, Credit: M. Aschwanden et al. (Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysical Laboratory(US)), TRACE, National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)

    The findings, by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) together with other physicists, could lead to a greater ability to predict space weather — fast particles from the sun that can disrupt communications satellites and electrical networks.

    Improved understanding could also lead to more efficient generation of the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars, which researchers are seeking to reproduce on Earth as a safe, clean, and abundant source of energy for generating electricity.

    At PPPL, physicist Jongsoo Yoo and colleagues found that a type of wave in the region of space affected by Earth’s magnetic field could make reconnection more likely to occur. The wave creates friction in plasma, the state of matter composed of electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, that makes up 99% of the visible universe by causing rubbing between the electrons and nuclei. The rubbing slows the electrons and enables the magnetic field lines in the plasma to tear apart and then reconnect, releasing enormous amounts of energy.

    “These short-wavelength waves could transfer momentum between electrons and ions and help speed up reconnection,” said Yoo, whose research appears in a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters. “That’s the takeaway.”

    Yoo used data from measurements by the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, a group of four spacecraft launched by NASA in 2015, to study the waves.

    The mission is flying in tight formation to study magnetic reconnection, which occurs throughout the universe, in the magnetic field surrounding Earth.

    Magnetic reconnection on the surface of the sun is responsible for solar flares, huge burps of charged particles known as coronal mass ejections, and the aurora borealis.

    Coronal Mass Ejection. Credit: European Space Agency(EU).

    .

    Reconnection can also occur inside doughnut-shaped plasma facilities known as tokamaks to create the conditions for fusion, which combines light elements in the form of plasma to generate massive amounts of energy.

    PPPL NSTX -U Tokamak at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ,USA.

    The new findings could also help explain unexpected heating that occurs in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), a device at PPPL that studies reconnection in the laboratory.

    1
    Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at PPPL

    “During MRX experiments, we see unexplained heating all the time, but haven’t been able to identify what causes it,” Yoo said. “These short-wavelength waves could be a good candidate.”

    The discovery builds on research that PPPL physicist Hantao Ji, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University completed decades ago. “Previously, it seemed like these waves might not be important,” Ji said. “But Jongsoo was able to show that they are likely important under different conditions. That is a happy surprise.”

    Yoo plans to complete data analysis that could provide further evidence that these short-wavelength waves can impact reconnection. “I am very excited about this next step,” Yoo said. “If you can prove that these waves have an effect on reconnection, that would have a very big impact.”

    Support for this research came from the DOE’s Office of Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US), and the National Science Foundation. Collaborators include physicists from Utah State University(US), the University of Rochester(US), the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center(US), Princeton University(US), and Harbin Institute of Technology[哈尔滨工业大学 ()](CN).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    PPPL campus

    Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University. PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. Results of PPPL research have ranged from a portable nuclear materials detector for anti-terrorist use to universally employed computer codes for analyzing and predicting the outcome of fusion experiments. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science.

    About Princeton: Overview
    Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

    As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

    Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students. The University’s generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.

    Princeton Shield

     
  • richardmitnick 12:56 pm on March 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Extreme-scale computing and AI help forecast a promising outlook for divertor heat-loads in next-step fusion reactors", , , Fusion technology, , , ,   

    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory: “Extreme-scale computing and AI help forecast a promising outlook for divertor heat-loads in next-step fusion reactors” 


    From DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    February 25, 2021 [Just now in social media.]
    John Greenwald

    1
    Physicist C.S. Chang with figure showing turbulence eddies in an ITER plasma edge (green) with the heat-load footprint on the material wall carried by escaping hot plasma particles. Model simulated with XGC code and AI-produced heat-load width formula is shown at left top. Credit: Elle Starkman/Office of Communications. Simulation and image credit Robert Hager and Seung-Hoe Ku.

    Efforts to duplicate on Earth the fusion reactions that power the sun and stars for unlimited energy must contend with extreme heat-load density that can damage the doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks, the most widely used laboratory facilities that house fusion reactions, and shut them down. These loads flow against the walls of what are called divertor plates that extract waste heat from the tokamaks.

    Far larger forecast

    But using high-performance computers and artificial intelligence (AI), researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have predicted a far larger and less damaging heat-load width for the full-power operation of ITER, the international tokamak under construction in France, than previous estimates have found.


    ITER experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is being built next to the Cadarache facility in Saint Paul les-Durance south of France.

    The new formula produced a forecast that was over six-times wider than those developed by a simple extrapolation from present tokamaks to the much larger ITER facility whose goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

    “If the simple extrapolation to full-power ITER from today’s tokamaks were correct, no known material could withstand the extreme heat load without some difficult preventive measures,” said PPPL physicist C.S. Chang, leader of the team that developed the new, wider forecast and first author of a paper that Physics of Plasmas has published as an Editor’s Pick. “An accurate formula can enable scientists to operate ITER in a more comfortable and cost-effective way toward its goal of producing 10 times more fusion energy than the input energy,” Chang said.

    Fusion reactions combine light elements in the form of plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that makes up to 99 percent of the visible universe — to generate massive amounts of energy. Tokamaks, the most widely used fusion facilities, confine the plasma in magnetic fields and heat it to million-degree temperatures to produce fusion reactions. Scientists around the world are seeking to produce and control such reactions to create a safe, clean, and virtually inexhaustible supply of power to generate electricity.

    The Chang team’s surprisingly optimistic forecast harkens back to results the researchers produced on the Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2017.

    ORNL Titan Cray XK7 Supercomputer

    The team used the PPPL-developed XGC high-fidelity plasma turbulence code to forecast a heat load that was over six-times wider in full-power ITER operation than simple extrapolations from current tokamaks predicted.

    Surprise finding

    The surprising finding raised eyebrows by sharply contradicting the dangerously narrow heat-load forecasts. What accounted for the difference — might there be some hidden plasma parameter, or condition of plasma behavior, that the previous forecasts had failed to detect?

    Those forecasts arose from parameters in the simple extrapolations that regarded plasma as a fluid without considering the important kinetic, or particle motion, effects. By contrast, the XGC code produces kinetic simulations using trillions of particles on extreme-scale computers, and its six-times wider forecast suggested that there might indeed be hidden parameters that the fluid approach did not factor in.

    The team performed more refined simulations of the full-power ITER plasma on the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to ensure that their 2017 findings on Titan were not in error.

    ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, was No.1 on the TOP500. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    The team also performed new XGC simulations on current tokamaks to compare the results to the much wider Summit and Titan findings. One simulation was on one of the highest magnetic-field plasmas on the Joint European Torus (JET) in the United Kingdom, which reaches 73 percent of the full-power ITER magnetic field strength.

    Joint European Torus, at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom

    The Joint European Torus tokamak generator based at the Culham Center for Fusion Energy located at the Culham Science Centre, near Culham, Oxfordshire, England.

    4
    The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research. It is located at the Culham Science Centre, near Culham, Oxfordshire (UK).

    Another simulation was on one of the highest magnetic-field plasmas on the now decommissioned C-Mod tokamak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which reaches 100 percent of the full-power ITER magnetic field.

    Alcator C-Mod tokamak at MIT, no longer in operation.

    The results in both cases agreed with the narrow heat-load width forecasts from simple extrapolations. These findings strengthened the suspicion that there are indeed hidden parameters.

    Supervised machine learning

    The team then turned to a type of AI method called supervised machine learning to discover what the unnoticed parameters might be. Using kinetic XGC simulation data from future ITER plasma, the AI code identified the hidden parameter as related to the orbiting of plasma particles around the tokamak’s magnetic field lines, an orbiting called gyromotion.

    The AI program suggested a new formula that forecasts a far wider and less dangerous heat-load width for full-power ITER than the previous XGC formula derived from experimental results in present tokamaks predicted. Furthermore, the AI-produced formula recovers the previous narrow findings of the formula built for the tokamak experiments.

    “This exercise exemplifies the necessity for high-performance computing, by not only producing high-fidelity understanding and prediction but also improving the analytic formula to be more accurate and predictive.” Chang said. “It is found that the full-power ITER edge plasma is subject to a different type of turbulence than the edge in present tokamaks due to the large size of the ITER edge plasma compared to the gyromotion radius of particles.”

    Researchers then verified the AI-produced formula by performing three more simulations of future ITER plasmas on the supercomputers Summit at OLCF and Theta at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) at Argonne National Laboratory.

    ANL ALCF Theta Cray XC40 supercomputer.

    ANL/ALCF

    “If this formula is validated experimentally,” Chang said, “this will be huge for the fusion community and for ensuring that ITER’s divertor can accommodate the heat exhaust from the plasma without too much complication.”

    The team would next like to see experiments on current tokamaks that could be designed to test the AI-produced extrapolation formula. If it is validated, Chang said, “the formula can be used for easier operation of ITER and for the design of more economical fusion reactors.”

    Conducting this research and co-authoring the paper were U.S. and international researchers. Members of the team included PPPL physicists Seung-Hoe Ku, Robert Hager and Michael Churchill, with Jerry Hughes of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT; Florian Köchl of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) [Technische Universität Wien](AT); Alberto Loarte and Richard Pitts of ITER; and Vassili Parail of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom.

    Support for this work comes from the DOE Office of Science through the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program. DOE’s Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program provided the OLCF and ALCF computing resources. OLCF and ALCF are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    PPPL campus

    Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University. PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. Results of PPPL research have ranged from a portable nuclear materials detector for anti-terrorist use to universally employed computer codes for analyzing and predicting the outcome of fusion experiments. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science.

    About Princeton: Overview
    Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

    As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

    Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students. The University’s generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.

    Princeton Shield

     
  • richardmitnick 4:49 pm on February 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Keeping an eye on the fusion future", , “I already have this network of peers and professors and staff. I’ve been kind of training for this for four years., Daniel Korsun, Fusion technology, Korsun arrived on the MIT campus in 2016 prepared to focus on chemistry but quickly developed a fascination for the nuclear side of physics., Korsun indulged in Professor Mike Short’s Introduction to Nuclear Science class., Korsun is exploring the effect of radiation produced during the fusion process on the HTS tapes., Korsun quickly found himself in the center’s accelerator laboratory which is co-operated jointly with the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), Korsun’s continuing excitement for research at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) ultimately landed him in MIT’s SuperUROP undergraduate research program during his junior year., , Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), Pursuing this question took him with his teammates as far as Japan and New Zealand where they could use special facilities to test the critical current of HTS tape under relevant conditions., SPARC tokamak, Tokamak designs are being developed by MIT in association with Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) and are dependent on game-changing high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tape.   

    From MIT: “Keeping an eye on the fusion future” 

    MIT News


    From MIT News

    February 22, 2021
    Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center

    Daniel Korsun’s undergraduate career at MIT prepared him to look more deeply into fusion magnet technology and design.

    1
    MIT graduate student Daniel Korsun holds a reel of the high-temperature superconducting tape that has been the focus of his research, as he stands beside the cyclotron he uses in his experiments.
    Credit: Steve Jepeal.

    “That was your warmup. Now we’re really in the thick of it.”

    Daniel Korsun ’20 is reflecting on his four years of undergraduate preparation and research at MIT as he enters “the thick” of graduate study at the Institute’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). The nuclear science and engineering student’s “warmup” included enough fusion research on the SPARC tokamak to establish him as part of the PSFC community.

    MIT SPARC fusion reactor tokamak.

    “I already have this network of peers and professors and staff,” he notes with enthusiasm. “I’ve been kind of training for this for four years.”

    Korsun arrived on the MIT campus in 2016 prepared to focus on chemistry, but quickly developed a fascination for the nuclear side of physics. Postponing one of his undergraduate course requirements, he indulged in Professor Mike Short’s Introduction to Nuclear Science class. After that he was “super hooked,” especially by the subject of fusion, a carbon-free, potentially endless source of energy.

    Learning from his class colleague Monica Pham ’19 about a summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) opening at the PSFC, Korsun applied and quickly found himself in the center’s accelerator laboratory, which is co-operated jointly with the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE).

    “I’ve always been interested in clean energy, advanced solar, climate change. When I actually got into the depths of fusion, seeing what the PSFC was doing — nothing ever compared.”

    Korsun’s continuing excitement for research at the PSFC ultimately landed him in MIT’s SuperUROP undergraduate research program during his junior year. Guided by NSE Assistant Professor Zach Hartwig and his graduate students, Korsun was learning about the fusion research that remains his focus today, including SPARC, a next-generation fusion experiment that is prototype to a planned energy-producing fusion furnace called ARC.

    Both these tokamak designs are being developed by MIT in association with Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), and are dependent on game-changing, high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tape. Magnets created from this tape will wrap around the tokamak’s donut-shaped vacuum chamber, confining the hot plasma.

    Korsun is exploring the effect of radiation, produced during the fusion process, on the HTS tapes. To do this he needs to test the critical current of the tapes, the maximum amount of current a superconductor can conduct while remaining in a superconducting state. Because radiation damage impacts how well superconductors can carry current, the critical current of the tapes changes in relation to how much they are irradiated.

    “You can irradiate anything at room temperature,” he notes. “You just blast it with protons or neutrons. But that information is not really useful, because your SPARC and ARC magnets will be at cryogenic temperatures, and they’ll be operating in extremely strong magnetic fields as well. What if these low temperatures and high fields actually impact how the material responds to damage?”

    Pursuing this question as an undergraduate took him with his teammates as far as Japan and New Zealand, where they could use special facilities to test the critical current of HTS tape under relevant conditions. “On our Japan trip to the High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials at Tohoku University, we conducted the SPARC project’s first-ever tests of HTS tape at the actual SPARC toroidal field magnetic field and temperature. It was a grueling trip — we generally worked about 15 or 16 hours a day in the lab — but incredible.”

    The necessity of leaving campus in the spring of his senior year due to the Covid lockdown meant that Korsun would graduate virtually.

    “It was not ideal. I’m not the kind of person to sit on my parents’ couch for six months.”

    He made the most of his summer by securing a virtual internship at CFS, where he helped to refine ARC’s design based on what had been learned from SPARC research.

    “Crazy amounts of knowledge have been gained that were not even fathomable five years ago, when it was designed.”

    Korsun looks forward to the day when SPARC is operating, inspiring even more updates to the ARC design.

    “It’s so easy to get excited about SPARC,” he says. “Everyone is, and I am, too. But it’s not quite the end goal. We’ve got to keep an eye on the distance.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Bates Center, and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad and Whitehead Institutes.

    MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with MIT. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. MIT is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia, wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after MIT was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    MIT was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, MIT faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the MIT administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.
    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, MIT catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at MIT that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    MIT’s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at MIT’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, MIT became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected MIT profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of MIT between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, MIT no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and MIT’s defense research. In this period MIT’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. MIT ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six MIT students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at MIT over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, MIT’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    MIT has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 MIT classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    MIT was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, MIT launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, MIT announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the MIT faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    MIT has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the MIT community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, MIT announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the MIT community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, MIT, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

    MIT/Caltech Advanced aLigo .

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and MIT physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an MIT graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

     
  • richardmitnick 1:05 pm on February 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Heat loss control method in fusion reactors", , Culham Centre for Fusion Energy(UK), DEMO tokamak, DIFFER https://www.differ.nl/magnum_plasma_en, Eindhoven University of Technology [Technische Universiteit Eindhoven](NL), EPFL TCV tokamak, , EUROfusion research programme https://www.euro-fusion.org, Fast result: tested on EPFL's TCV tokamak, Free University of Brussels [Vrije Universiteit](BE), Fusion energy is a promising sustainable energy source [for 30 years it has been comming in 30 years]., Fusion technology, Institute of Plasma Physics of [CAS](CN), , MANTIS- Multispectral Advanced Narrowband Tokamak Imaging System, MIT(US), MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik](DE), Timo Ravensbergen (DIFFER): “We are going from studying to controlling. This is vital for the future of fusion reactors”   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(CH): “Heat loss control method in fusion reactors” 


    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(CH)

    19.02.21
    Renata Vujica
    Yves Martin

    1
    TCV tokamak. Credit: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(CH)

    The core of a fusion reactor is incredibly hot. Hydrogen that inevitably escapes from it must be cooled on its way to the wall, as otherwise, the reactor wall would be damaged. Researchers from the Dutch institute DIFFER and EPFL’s Swiss Plasma Center have developed a strict measurement and control method for the cooling of very hot particles escaping from fusion plasmas.

    Fusion energy is a promising sustainable energy source [for 30 years it has been comming in 30 years]. In a fusion reactor, extremely hot hydrogen plasma is kept suspended by magnetic fields. However, there is always a fraction that escapes. To prevent it from damaging the reactor vessel, the escaped hydrogen must be cooled down on its way to the wall.

    Cooling can be achieved in various ways, such as by injecting a gas. “But if you inject too much additional gas, the plasma is cooled too strongly, which reduces the performance,” says Christian Theiler (Swiss Plasma Center, EPFL), co-author of a study published in Nature Communications. It is therefore necessary to constantly manage the cooling to the point that the reactor can adequately cope. Matthijs van Berkel (DIFFER): “The ability to control the cooling precisely is explicitly stated in the European fusion program (EUROfusion) as a necessary step towards fusion energy. It is fantastic that we can contribute to this now.” In Nature Communications the authors describe how to cool the escaping particles in a quick and controlled manner with an innovative feedback control system. The experiments has been carried out in the TCV tokamak, a fusion research machine at the EPFL’s Swiss Plasma Center.

    “We are going from studying to controlling. This is vital for the future of fusion reactors,” says first author Timo Ravensbergen (DIFFER). “We measure, calculate, and control with incredible speed.”

    A closed system

    Escaping hydrogen is carried away via the reactor’s ‘exhaust’. That exhaust is called the diverter, where the plasma heat losses are captured. The process of strong cooling in the vicinity of the diverter is called diverter detachment. It reduces plasma temperature and pressure near the wall. Fusion physicists already have a lot of experience with this process, but this is partly based on intuition and on experiences from previous measurements. Now things will be done differently. “We have developed a closed system,” says Van Berkel, group leader Energy Systems & Control. “We have combined many different techniques, that is what makes it unique. Our systems engineering approach can be applied to other fusion reactors.” The experiments are a proof-of-principle. Van Berkel thinks that the method will be – with adjustments – applicable in the large fusion reactors ITER and DEMO.


    ITER experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is being built next to the Cadarache facility in Saint Paul les-Durance south of France.

    3
    DEMO tokamak.Credit: Antonio Froio

    Step-by-step

    The researchers made use of the camera system MANTIS at the TCV tokamak for this research.

    3
    Multispectral Advanced Narrowband Tokamak Imaging System [MANTIS]-The closed loop of measuring, calculating, and controlling to prevent the tokamak wall from being destroyed © Julia van Leeuwen.

    This Multispectral Advanced Narrowband Tokamak Imaging System [MANTIS] was developed by DIFFER, EPFL and MIT(US). The researchers adapted the system in such a way that camera images were converted into data from which a computer model could then calculate in real-time the optimum cooling under varying conditions. This all took place with considerable precision: the status of the plasma is determined 800 times per second.

    A new real-time image-processing algorithm, developed at DIFFER, analyzes the MANTIS system images. The algorithm calculates how much you need to cool by, and subsequently controls the gas valves automatically. Finally, the researchers produced a model of the system by analyzing, once again with the camera, how the plasma responds to the gas introduced. “With this model, we determine the dynamic relationship between the control of the gas valve and the heat front,” says Van Berkel.

    Fast result: tested on EPFL’s TCV tokamak

    The system was tested on the TCV tokamak. “It is a very flexible device, where ideas can be developed and tested rather quickly,” emphases Theiler. Van Berkel agrees: “TCV is a fantastic machine for testing control techniques, with a hypermodern real-time control system.” Van Berkel tells results came fast: “Within just four experiments, we managed to achieve feed-back control of the plasma near the divertor. This demonstrates that our systematic approach works.”

    Future research

    A proposal for follow-up research has already been prepared. The researchers made use of just one MANTIS camera, whereas the system has ten. The researchers want to use the other cameras as well, so that they can control the process even more accurately, and to control additional key processes in the divertor.

    Fusion: great energy potential

    Fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the Sun, has a high energy potential, is safe and environment-friendly. Research in this field is boosted by the international reactor ITER. While the giant research machine is being assembled in France, scientists from all over the world are working on the next steps: producing large-scale fusion reactions within it. Fusion occurs when nuclei of light atoms are heated to a hundred million degrees, forming a gas of charged particles called plasma.

    Partners

    This project is a collaboration between DIFFER, EPFL, Eindhoven University of Technology [Technische Universiteit Eindhoven](NL), Free University of Brussels [Vrije Universiteit](BE), MIT(US), Institute of Plasma Physics of [CAS](CN), Culham Centre for Fusion Energy(UK), and the MPG Institute for Plasma Physics [MPG Institut für Plasmaphysik](DE) and is part of the EUROfusion research programme.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(CH) is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:22 pm on February 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Advisory Committee Releases Strategic Plan for U.S. Fusion and Plasma Program", , BELLA HTT laser system, , Fusion technology, , , ,   

    From DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Advisory Committee Releases Strategic Plan for U.S. Fusion and Plasma Program” 

    From DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    February 16, 2021
    Glenn Roberts Jr.
    geroberts@lbl.gov
    (510) 520-0843

    1
    This 2018 photo shows the BELLA HTT laser system, which enables multipulse, high-energy-density photon sources for LaserNetUS and other experiments. Credit: Berkeley Lab.

    2
    The LaserNetUS network serves scientists in the United States by providing access to domestic user facilities and enabling a broad range of frontier scientific research. It is directly responsive to recommendations made in the recently released National Academy of Sciences Report with regard to US strategy in high intensity laser research, “Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers: Reaching for the Brightest Light”. As detailed in this report, the research in this area has the potential to transform science in a number of fields and open up new areas of fundamental research.

    Currently the network includes six academic- and four national lab-based high intensity laser facilities. These facilities are distributed geographically throughout the US and the network will provide access to complementary facilities that have unique world-class laser and experimental capabilities, such as pulse energy, pulse duration, repetition rate and diagnostics. LaserNetUS will make these existing petawatt-class laser facilities available to users from around the country who until now have not had regular access to such machines. Consequently, the network, which will develop over time, will also become a key element in driving forward national research in high field and high energy density plasma science.

    LBNL Bella Center during constructon.

    BELLA, the Berkeley Laboratory Laser Accelerator will create an experimental facility for further advancing the development of laser-driven plasma acceleration. BELLA’s unique attribute is the ability to use laser light to accelerate an electron beam to 10 GeV (10 billion electron volts) or more in the comparatively short distance of approximately one meter.

    A view of BELLA, the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator. Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt-Berkeley Lab.

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) has adopted and endorsed a new report that lays out a strategic plan for fusion energy and plasma science research over the next decade. The report has been two years in the making, gathering an unprecedented level of input and support from across the U.S. fusion and plasma community.

    Its strategic plan charts a path for the U.S. as it seeks to develop fusion as a limitless and practical source of energy while also advancing areas of fundamental plasma science.

    “The report establishes a strong and coordinated plan for fusion energy and plasma science for the next 10 years and demonstrates exciting opportunities for growth. Berkeley Lab has an important role to play,” said Cameron Geddes, deputy director of the Berkeley Laboratory Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center [above] who served as a report subcommittee member. “The process required all parts of the community to learn about the whole and plan comprehensively, and it has been an honor to participate.”

    Thomas Schenkel, interim director of Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division, added, “From building powerful superconducting magnets for controlled fusion reactions and pioneering novel concepts for inertial fusion, to advanced lasers enabling high-energy-density science and miniature accelerators, to the modeling and simulation of powerful laser beams and plasmas, we have a lot to offer across the entire field of fusion energy sciences.”

    He noted the Lab’s ongoing participation in LaserNetUS [above], a program highlighted in the report that has enabled new capabilities by pairing plasma researchers from the U.S. and around the world with the BELLA Center’s cutting-edge laser capabilities, including a new short-focal-length beamline under construction, and with the capabilities of other centers.

    The report comes at an important moment for fusion and plasma science and technology, and recommends three drivers in each area.

    In fusion science and technology:

    Advance the science and technology required to confine and sustain a burning plasma.
    Develop the materials required to withstand the extreme environment of a fusion reactor.
    Engineer the technologies required to breed fusion fuel and to generate electricity in a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s.

    In plasma science and technology:

    Develop a deeper understanding of the plasma universe – plasmas are at the core of most energetic events we observe in the universe.
    Explore and discover new regimes and exotic states of matter; utilize new experimental capabilities.
    Unlock the potential of plasmas to transform society.

    3
    A rendering of the layout of the iP2 high-intensity, short-focal-length beamline, which will enable new regimes in laser-matter interaction and ion acceleration for LaserNetUS experiments. The target chamber is shown at left. Credit: Berkeley Lab.

    Decades of public investment in fusion research have yielded important advances. These include the ITER experiment in France, which is the first fusion experiment that will yield net energy for an extended period – mastering hot plasmas to the point when the total power produced by a fusion plasma surpasses the power injected to heat it.


    ITER experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is being built next to the Cadarache facility in Saint Paul les-Durance south of France.

    The U.S. is one of 35 ITER partner countries and a strong supporter of the project, which will start operations in 2025[?] and passed the 70 percent construction mark this year. Berkeley Lab has participated in R&D in support of the ITER project, and in other concepts that have the potential to advance its performance, such as inertial fusion.

    The ultimate goal of both private and public investment is to develop fusion into an economical, essentially inexhaustible source of clean, carbon-free electricity that is available at all hours [it has been 30 years in the future for 30 years].

    Plasma research has yielded important discoveries that are already benefiting national defense, supporting high-tech manufacturing (such as computer chips, a field where Berkeley Lab has been very active in supporting the development of plasma-based light sources for high-resolution lithography), and helping to develop new cutting-edge materials.

    “Plasma-based accelerators and photon sources, driven by a new generation of high-repetition-rate lasers, represent an exciting and timely opportunity that was identified in the report,” noted Geddes.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: