Clean energy technology is tricky business among scientific experts, but researchers from MIT seem to be on a roll. They had just met a nuclear fusion world record, marking yet another step closer to unlimited clean energy.
A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has broken the record for the highest plasma pressure ever recorded.
may be made possible through the help of high pressures and extreme temperatures. Forcing atoms together can release huge amounts of energy, which can be harnessed in a lot of means. This process is called nuclear fusion, and it is the same kind of power that fuels the sun.
If these demands were met, then not only can we have unlimited energy, but also put a stop to climate change.
So far, successful fusion can only be met by adding more energy
to the source. This means having the right amount and timing of pressure and temperature until it becomes self-reproducing.
Using its Alcator C-Mod tokamak reactor, the MIT researchers were able to meet the pressure of two atmospheres. It is a whopping 35-million C for two seconds, 16-percent higher than 2005's record!
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The Alcator C-Mod tokamak (from the MIT)[/caption]
This means the Alcator's very high magnetic fields can support high amounts of plasma, and brings us a step closer to sustainable energy.
Not far behind
Sadly, this also marks the end of the Alcator tokamak's operation. Big countries such as the US, China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea are now diverting their funds into a bigger fusion reactor called the ITER
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The ITER (from ITER.org)[/caption]
It will be 800 times larger than MIT's Alcator, and can even deliver 500MW of power in the vicinity. If the same research continues in the ITER, then output similar (or greater than!) the Alcator's can be met.
But private companies are not far behind.
Other groups such as Tokamak Energy and Tri-Alpha Energy want to build their own labs in order to do their own experiments. Others even don't want to use tokamaks!
A tokamak is a device that generates a powerful magnetic field in the shape of a torus. It is used by a lot of energy companies and researches to confine moving plasma.
And while the goal towards clean energy has inevitably become a race, it seems humanity is getting closer to eradicating climate change - which is a hooray in itself!
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
, The Guardian