Discussion of real advancements, concepts and applications in the field of nuclear fusion.
Nuclear Fusion on Reddit
Focused on advancements in the field of nuclear fusion.
Submissions should be related to nuclear fusion or plasma physics as currently understood by the scientific community.
Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei collide together at a very high speed and form a new nucleus. For light elements like hydrogen or helium the fused nucleus weights less than the sum of the original nucleus. The missing mass is released as energy in accordance with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence equations. Fusion is the process that powers active or "main sequence" stars.
Current mainstream approaches include:
Magnetic confinement, used in tokamak, spheromak and stellarator designs
Inertial confinement, used at the National Ignition Facility
Electrostatic confinement, used by the fusor and Polywell devices
Magnetized target fusion and Magneto-Inertial fusion, hybrid approaches used by General Fusion and Helion Energy
Let me start by saying I don’t have a PhD. I got my undergrad in physics and then took engineering as a second degree. So I would say I know just enough to probably embarrass myself so be gentle. This thought has kind of rattled around my brain for a few years - my question needs some set up. Since electrostatic repulsion is what needs to be overcome for fusion to occur, and I recall from school that the force carriers are virtual photons and I also recall that in an entirely separate effect, Casimir plates experience attractive forces due to the destructive interference of virtual particles between the plates (i.e. leaving lower virtual particle pressure between the plates than outside the plates). So… could you not try and make your fusion happen between the Casimir plates and properly space the Casimir plates to some 1/2 multiple of the right wavelength to cause destructive interference of the virtual photons between your fusion target nuclei? Basically if you remove enough of the repulsive force between them, the potential barrier they have to overcome becomes lower which increases the probability of tunnelling through it. Could that possibly lower the temp required to make the fusion reaction happen? Again, if it’s dumb, I do apologize.
TLDR: could Casimir plates make fusion easier?
One source says there were at least 25 applicants. 8 were given awards. Who could be the other 17? I'm finding it not so easy to come up with names, considering that they have to be US based or with a US subsidiary.
The three obvious ones are TAE, Helion, and General Atomics.
After that, I have Avalanche Energy, CTFusion (closed in April, but maybe they knew they were out of the running,) Helicity Space, Horne Technologies, Hyper Jet Fusion, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP Fusion,) MIFTI, Princeton Satellite Systems (through their Princeton Fusion Systems spin-off,) and Shine Technologies.
Some US-based FIA members that are not listed in Crunchbase are: NearStar Fusion, Electric Fusion Systems, Longview Fusion Energy Systems, LaserFusionX, and Blue Laser Fusion.
By my count, that's exactly 17. Did I leave out any other possibilities?
CFS, Tokamak E., Princeton Stellarators, Type One E., Focused Energy, XCimer E., Realta Fusion and Zap E.
A couple things to note is this high resolution photo of a poster saying they've recently achieved 600 kA: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fw_IfuTaYAA2EB9?format=jpg&name=4096x4096
Also a talk by Uri Shumlak titled "Fusion Gain and Triple Product for the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z Pinch" with an abstract that includes:
"Requirements, assumptions, and limitations are described that would justify a determination of “D-T equivalent Q = 1 conditions” in a D-D plasma. A minimum set of experimental measurements of plasma parameters are specified that can be compared to a plasma parameter map to facilitate a “Q = 1” claim, where Q is defined by instantaneous values of fusion power and input power. Corroborating measurements are also discussed that would further support extrapolation of plasma and fusion performance to D-T operation."
Hi everyone, I have been interested in the application of fusion for a while and following reading an article wanted to learn more about it. It may be of interest to there so sharing it:
Hello r/fusion :) Been on this sub for some time now and it really got my hopes up that fusion will be a thing within my lifetime, and I feel that I'd really love to contribute to it.
I'm starting a Bsc in physics this year and I'm wondering what's the best track to get involved in the work on fusion. Keep in mind realistically I'll only be able to truly get involved in it in ~5 years, so I'm not sure exactly how to prepare for that- won't fusion be more of an engineering problem by then?
I know this is a very open ended question and realistically I can't expect everything to go according to plan, but still it's nice to have a vision.
Thank you for taking your time :)