New Fuel Mix for higher Plasma Temperatures

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Skipjack
Posts: 5930
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

New Fuel Mix for higher Plasma Temperatures

Postby Skipjack » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:31 pm

The MIT has found a new way to boost plasma temperatures by adding trace amounts of Helium3 (<1%) to a more traditional fuel mix like Deuterium and Tritium.
http://news.mit.edu/2017/mit-plasma-res ... dw.twitter

D Tibbets
Posts: 2775
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:52 am

Re: New Fuel Mix for higher Plasma Temperatures

Postby D Tibbets » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:23 am

This is a brief article and the significance may be uncertain. There is some interesting information though. The proportion of deuterium seems to be quite high and I wonder if this is typical for D-T Tokamaks. The research may have been more to do with the behavior of fusion products and their contribution to heating in machines that have already achieved ignition conditions rather than a mechanism for heating non fusing fuel plasma to necessary temperatures for significant fusion to occur and lead to ignition. There is some overlap certainly, but I wonder how much injecting He3 at MeV energies contributes versus increased Bremsstruhlung losses. Again obviously, if predictions of ignition are real then these higher Z ions must impart more heating of the plasma than they take away. I wonder if building up the fuel plasma temperatures with essentially using external input to mimic ignition conditions is workable. Not only temperature but various loss mechanisms / instabilities may be contributory. As I said, interesting...

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.


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