The coming of age of plasma physics
Whether at home or in a nuclear installation, a painting job begins with surface preparation. ITER is a big machine—by far the largest fusion device ever built. But there is a system just a few metres away that makes it look like a mere appendage to some [ The design is advancing in Europe on a large set of components—electrical feedthroughs—that will be installed at the barrier between the air atmosphere outside [ In a few years, reality will reflect this artist's rendition of the completed ITER platform.
Civil work on the ITER site is approximately 70 percent achieved [ Read more. Image of the week Sandblasting Whether at home or in a nuclear installation, a painting job begins with surface preparation. Neutral beam The system that makes the Tokamak feel small ITER is a big machine—by far the largest fusion device ever built. Diagnostic feedthroughs Positioned at the vacuum boundary The design is advancing in Europe on a large set of components—electrical feedthroughs—that will be installed at the barrier between the air atmosphere outside [ This facility, housed at the Consorzio RFX laboratory, is the only one worldwide capable of demonstrating ITER heating neutral beam requirements simultaneously.
MITICA, the full prototype 1 MV injector that will allow scientists to test and optimize the beam source, accelerator, and beamline components. Acceptance tests have been run on the high voltage power sources supplied by Europe and Japan see this page for photos and, recently, Europe delivered the vacuum chamber that will house the MITICA beam source. See more about the component on the Fusion for Energy website. Funding has been secured for the Joint European Tokamak JET through the end of , providing welcome visibility to the world's largest operating fusion research facility in the context of uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The future of JET has been under discussion since as its work is covered by the Euratom Treaty, which the UK Government intends to leave as part of the process of leaving the European Union. JET has been a shining example of scientific cooperation between European Union members, and this news means that these mutually beneficial collaborations will continue, allowing us to do essential experiments on the path to delivering fusion power. We can now continue to work on the realization of fusion energy together with the indispensable experience of our British partner.
Lectures are planned on plasma physics, plasma-wall interaction and materials research, ITER and the next steps toward fusion energy, and more. Sign up by 31 May here. Fusion scientists keep looking for ways to address the challenge of plasma disruptions, which can halt fusion reactions and potentially damage the plasma-facing components of a fusion device.
The electromagnetic particle injector, EPI, is a type of railgun that fires a high-velocity projectile, a sabot, from a pair of electrified rails into a plasma that is on the verge of disruption. The sabot releases light-metal pellets into the centre of the plasma that would spread out the energy of the disruption from the centre of the plasma to the edge, thus weakening its impact on the vessel walls.
The EPI can deliver the pellets more deeply into the plasma than other techniques. For physicist Roger Raman of the University of Washington, the primary advantage of the new device is "its potential to meet short-warning time scales. During tests, the EPI delivered pellets in less than 10 milliseconds. In comparison, the gas-propelled system needs 30 milliseconds. Photo by Elle Starkman. All are renowned experts in their fields.
For more details and to apply please visit: The deadline for applications is 25 May. Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States have developed thin films made of a tungsten alloy that could be used inside fusion reactors. The material, a nanocrystalline tungsten-tantalum-vanadium-chromium alloy, showed "outstanding radiation resistance when compared to pure nanocrystalline tungsten materials," said researcher Osman El Atawi in an article published in The Engineer.
The inside of a fusion reactor vessel faces the hot plasma and must withstand extremely high temperatures as well as bombardment by charged and neutral particles. Tungsten, which is currently considered the most suitable material to protect the inside of a vacuum vessel, tends to fracture after radiation, while the newly developed alloy material retains its mechanical properties. Their joint paper is published in Science Advances. What do you get when you mix three parts fusion doctoral training, two measures of outreach, many parts of information, and a final jigger of fun?
A Glass of Seawater! What is incredibly hard—but also exciting—about research in fusion today? Which challenges have been overcome and which remain? What are the latest developments from the world of materials science? And—last but not least—how much fuel for the fusion reaction can be taken from a glass of seawater? Also, see this recent write-up from EUROfusion. Learn more here. To celebrate its th anniversary, the magazine organized a major travelling photography exhibit that will be presented at several engineering schools in France and eventually, in , at the Palais du Luxembourg—home of the French Senate in Paris.
And ITER is one of them. The resulting "planet"—centred on the Tokamak Building and its circular bioshield, with cranes jutting out at the "equator"—is one of the most spectacular renditions of the ITER site, in both its artistic and its documentary approach. A photo of a specimen of tungsten-fibre-reinforced tungsten after a stress test won the first prize in science publisher Elsevier's "NuMart Image Competition".
Johann Riesch and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics IPP developed the composite material as part of the search for materials that could be used at high-stress locations in fusion plasma vessels. Although tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point, it is highly brittle and develops cracks under punctual stresses. Taking their cue from fibre-reinforced ceramics, Riesch and his team developed tungsten-fibre-reinforced tungsten where tungsten fibres with a diameter of micrometres bridge the cracks in the tungsten matrix.
The photo taken by Martin Balden shows the new material after a breaking test as seen by an electron-microscope, demonstrating how the fibres enhance the fracture toughness of the tungsten material. The image will feature on the cover of the jubilee issue of Elsevier's Journal of Nuclear Materials , which will be published in April , marking its 60th anniversary. See the full article on the IPP website here. The sequel of the ITER manga is out. He spends his summer vacation as an intern at ITER's Communication Department where he and his two intern colleagues are tasked to come up with an idea of how to reach out to people all over the world and spread the word about ITER.
To find out how the story ends, read the new installment "A small sun on Earth. Volume 2: It is available in Japanese, English and French. In , the agency contracted with Studsvik Sweden and its subcontractor NRG to study the performance of the steel after irradiation in conditions similar to those expected at ITER. A recent public hearing organized by the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament has shed a light on the significant impact of ITER in terms of economic benefits and job creation.
European companies report that working for ITER generates a new knowledge base, offers new business opportunities and increases their competitiveness and growth, helping to create additional jobs. Read the details on the Fusion for Energy website. Thousands of live webcams throughout the world provide viewers with spectacular natural vistas, cityscapes and beaches, trendy bars and colourful markets in real time. Every year the EarthCam network, a website that collects webcams from thousands of sites across the globe, selects 25 of the most interesting views offered to the public.
As expected, webcam 1 in was pointed at a beautiful natural scene—the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica which, until a few years ago, was one of the most active in the world. There were also cats among the first tier of the awardees. Along with a webcam focused on a light bulb that has been shining at the Livermore, California, Fire Department for At the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy CCFE , researcher Fulvio Militello is working on a statistical model that compares the seemingly random movement of filaments structures that emerge at the edges of the hot plasma to the behaviour of raindrops.
In the same way that each unique raindrop follows the same laws of physics they hit the pavement , filaments that differ in strength, speed, size, amplitude or position follow certain rules as they move. Militello's model estimates collective behaviour in order to give scientists a tool to predict and control them. Read more about his theory on the CCFE website. Their findings could shed light on the variety of mechanisms leading to the onset of ELMs and could broaden the portfolio of ELM suppression tools.
Read the full report on the PPPL website. Today, there are 30 participating research organizations and universities from 26 European member states plus Switzerland and the Ukraine. Challenges ahead for the new Chair include the transition to the next European research and innovation framework program, Horizon Europe; navigating the uncertainties linked to Brexit; and the strategic direction of EUROfusion as it pursues the objectives laid out in the European Roadmap to Fusion Electricity.
Every year in December, the annual meeting of the Fusion Power Associates brings together senior representatives of the US and international fusion communities and US policymakers to review the status of fusion research and consider the way forward. The 39th annual meeting, organized in Washington D. All presentations from the 39th Annual Meeting can be downloaded here. Physicists Allan Reiman, left, and Nat Fisch. Photos by Elle Starkman. A meeting schedule tool is also available on line for all registered companies.
Like mountaineers at the foot of Mount Everest, spacefaring nations have aimed for the Moon "because it's there. And one of these incentives has to do with the future of fusion. Research today is essentially focused on the fusion of hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, which is the "easiest" to achieve with our present technological capabilities. However, other energy-producing combinations of light nuclei are theoretically possible, a few of which involve the helium isotope 3 3He.
For many years, some scientists, politicians, and private companies and even a former Apollo astronaut have made the argument for "mining the Moon" for 3He. Other scientists argue that mining the Moon for 3He is pure Professor Ouyang Ziyuan, the Chief Scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, was widely quoted saying that a long-term industrial program to mine the Moon for 3He was economically justified.
The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has completed a multiyear study of the overall status of magnetic confinement fusion research in the United States. Its recommendation? Continued US participation in the ITER Project and an unambiguous increase in funding for the domestic fusion program leading to the construction of a compact pilot plant. The final report issued in December makes two recommendations: The United States should remain an ITER partner as the most cost-effective way to gain experience with a burning plasma at the scale of a power plant.
The United States should start a national program of accompanying research and technology leading to the construction of a compact pilot plant that produces electricity from fusion at the lowest possible capital cost. Read the full article published by CCFE here. With astonishing creativity and as a special surprise for the audience, the artists brought ITER to life on stage—including a depiction of a busy worksite and a Tokamak model.
See a video clip from the show here. The registration fee for foreign students of KRW , equivalent to around EUR , VAT included includes accommodation, lunches and dinners, and bus service between the hotel and the school.
Whether at home or in a nuclear installation, a painting job begins with surface preparation. ITER is a big machine—by far the largest fusion device ever built. But there is a system just a few metres away that makes it look like a mere appendage to some [ The design is advancing in Europe on a large set of components—electrical feedthroughs—that will be installed at the barrier between the air atmosphere outside [
As the name suggests, plasma physics concerns the physical properties of plasmas.
Plasma and ionized gases have properties and display behaviours unlike those of the other states, and the transition between them is mostly a matter of nomenclature  and subject to interpretation. Neon signs and lightning are examples of partially ionized plasma. The interior of the Sun is an example of fully ionized plasma,  along with the solar corona  and stars. Positive charges in ions are achieved by stripping away electrons orbiting the atomic nuclei, where the total number of electrons removed is related to either increasing temperature or the local density of other ionized matter.
December 19, Once upon a time, people thought that electrons and ions always stuck together, living happily ever after. However, under low density of matter or high temperatures, the components of matter are no longer bound together. Instead, they form plasma, a state of matter naturally occurring in our universe, which has since been harnessed for everyday applications such as TV screens, chip etching and torches, but also propulsion and even sustained energy production via controlled fusion. In a fascinating editorial for a special plasma issue of EPJ H , called "Plasma physics in the 20th century as told by players", three physicists share their perspectives on key events in the early history of plasma physics, in the first half of the 20th century. First, Patrick Diamond, from the University of California San Diego, USA, shares his recollections of the early days of wireless transmission and the description of the 'Heavyside Layer' the electrically conducting layer of the upper atmosphere, which transmits radio waves. In turn, Yves Pomeau from the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France, talks about the role of Irving Langmuir in the development of plasma physics theory, namely his calculation of the frequency of oscillation of electrons in a plasma environment with much heavier ions.WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: What Is Plasma - Chemistry for All - FuseSchool