Oct 19, 2016 02:36 AM EDT
MIT Scientists Discovers What Could be the Key to Limitless Energy
A team of MIT scientists has just made an amazing discovery which brings them a step closer to harnessing limitless energy by pushing the plasma pressure in the fusion process higher than what is on the current record.
A team of MIT scientists and engineers from the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center achieved the breakthrough through the use of their Alcator-C Mod Tokamak reactor which utilizes magnetic fields to trap the reaction within a fixed volume.
Through the Tokamak, they were able to produce a temperature of more than 35 million degrees Celsius or 63 million degrees Fahrenheit. To put it in layman's terms, that temperature is twice as hot as that in the sun's core. Despite the intense heat inside the reactor, the team was able to maintain the pressure at 2.05 atmosphere of pressure, which is similar to the pressure 10 meters deep into the ocean.
Dale Meade, who was the former deputy director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, congratulated the MIT team for their remarkable discovery.
"The record plasma pressure validates the high-magnetic-field approach as an attractive path to practical fusion energy," he said.
For those who may have no idea why the discovery is significant, it is best to understand how fusion works.
The first step in fusion involves superheating hydrogen gas in order to create and energize plasma. In order to contain overheated plasma, there should be external pressure . The same pressure also causes the nuclei to continuously collide with each other. This is the same process occurring in the sun. However, where the sun rely on gravity to keep the force within bounds, scientists have to use very powerful magnetic fields to confine the plasma.
This fusion reaction in the sun continuously happens, producing enough energy to keep this great ball of fire burning. In the same way, the scientists want to re-create the same fusion reaction in the sun through the use of the tokamak. When this happens, then limitless energy is available for all.
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