Light my fire: How to start up fusion devices every time

How do you start a fusion reaction, the process that lights the sun and stars, on Earth? Like lighting a match to start a fire, you first produce plasma, the state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei that ...

Laser-produced uranium plasma evolves into more complex species

When energy is added to uranium under pressure, it creates a shock wave, and even a tiny sample will be vaporized like a small explosion. By using smaller, controlled explosions, physicists can test on a microscale in a safe ...

New technique could streamline design of intricate fusion device

Stellarators, twisty machines that house fusion reactions, rely on complex magnetic coils that are challenging to design and build. Now, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory ...

Astrophysical shock phenomena reproduced in the laboratory

Vast interstellar events where clouds of charged matter hurtle into each other and spew out high-energy particles have now been reproduced in the lab with high fidelity. The work, by MIT researchers and an international team ...

Improving the magnetic bottle that controls fusion power on Earth

Scientists who use magnetic fields to bottle up and control on Earth the fusion reactions that power the sun and stars must correct any errors in the shape of the fields that contain the reactions. Such errors produce deviations ...

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