A pacemaker for nuclear fusion plasmas.

Active Science

By Menno Lauret (in collaboration with Gert Witvoet, Federico Felici, Tim Goodman, Oliver Sauter, Gerd Vandersteen, Marco de Baar and the TCV team)

Increasing energy demands and depleting resources is one of the major challenges that humanity has to face. Moreover, the waste products of energy plants like CO2 or long term radioactive material lays a heavy burden on future generations.

Among the many alternatives for coal and nuclear fission plants, nuclear fusion is a unique approach to generate clean and reliable energy. Essentially, fusion energy uses the same physical mechanism that makes the sun scorching hot. If small and very hot sun-like plasma’s (ionized gas, with a temperature of around 100 million degrees Kelvin) could be reliable made  on earth, this could be used for the  generation of clean and reliable energy.

Physicists working on fusion energy have made great progress in the last 50 years. However, there are still some processes in the plasma that…

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