Researchers have reached a new record in terms of pressure plasma, which produces a key ingredient for nuclear fusion energy.
The new record was achieved at 2.05 atmospheres, with 15% more than the previous record of 1.77 atmospheres. Both records were obtained from the MIT reactor custom called form C-Mod. The discovery offers researchers more evidence about how they can develop new technologies more economically viable.
‘The Achievement is outstanding, this proves the success of the C-Mod form of MIT,’ said physicist Dale Meade, within Priceton Plasma Physics Laboratory, who was not involved in the study.
‘Plasma pressure achieved record validates trying to achieve in the magnetic field of fusion energy,’ he added.
To achieve the 2.05 atmospheres, researchers at MIT have ignited the reactor to 35 million degrees Celsius (two times hotter than the Sun’s core). So, plasma produced 300 trillion reactions per second for two seconds.
The three variable temperatures, pressure and durability while acting as a compromise for the previous record teams worldwide. For example, while C-Mod reactor form is the best in terms of stress, other reactions were hot or had a longer time.
Pressure plasma is crucial for energy globally, which is one of the reasons why the experts at MIT are so pleased with the result. They believe that the pressure is ‘two thirds’ of producing nuclear fusion reactions.
The researchers believe that nuclear fusion offers an unlimited, safe and clean energy source. In the future, researchers are trying to replicate the phenomena on the sun here on Earth by heating small elements of matter to millions of degrees Celsius.
By isolating the plasma from other materials with a very strong magnet you can get an energy source, one that could replace fossil and nuclear fuels.
Unlike the nuclear fission reaction that fuels nuclear power plants, currently fusion does not create radioactive waste, but there is also the chance of a collapse.
The machines today use more energy than they create, because of the very high temperatures needed, but progress has yet to be introduced.
Unfortunately, the mission compile of the C-Mod reactor is at the end, the reactor functioning continuously over the last 23 years.