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Plasma heating method offers fusion boost

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My understanding of this is poor at best . Does this mean more heat energy being generated ? And it has to be converted to electrical power for our use ?

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My understanding is low as well.  My understanding is fusion is defined as getting more energy out than you put into the reaction.  But as Roger asked, is this still sounds using heat energy to produce electricity similarly to the way a fission reactor works?  A great leap in technology, but still sounds a bit inefficient having to convert the heat to electricity.

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Essentially it allows them to better understand how to maintain a fusion reaction.

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Yes to ROGER and paperdryer. This is 'just' another way of generating enormous amounts of heat to drive turbines that generate the electricity. Other ways include burning fossil fuels and nuclear fission.
The problem is - to achieve fusion positively-charged particles must be forced together, but the forces between them are enormous (think of the strongest magnets you've played with, times a million million million million). This happens all the time inside stars where conditions are right: high density (lots of particles crammed together) and high temperature (particles are moving really, really fast). On Earth we can't create a plasma approaching the density inside the Sun, so we need much higher temperatures if we hope to achieve fusion. So we have to heat these particles hotter and hotter to the point where temperatures in kelvin have no real meaning (150 000 000 K anyone?) so particle energies are instead expressed in terms of electronvolts eV, which is basically the voltage required to make them move at a certain speed.
So: we pump in huge amounts of energy using electricity to generate high temperatures. This creates fusion which in turn releases vast amounts of energy (think of the H-bomb) that has to be contained and converted back into useful electricity.

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We can already heat hydrogen to fusion temperatures.

It's sort of dangerous when we don't have sure containment.

Just like TaintlessMetals said, this will allow scientists to study the behavior of ultra-high temperature particles without having to worry about the fusion reaction that results with hydrogen.

Having such particles on hand allows you to try different things with your containment method, which could lead to the sort of containment we'll have to have to make fusion power plants a reality.

This is clearly stated in the front page U-M article:

Quote

"To be able to create such energetic ions in a non-activated device (not doing a huge amount of fusion) is beneficial, because we can study how ions with energies comparable to fusion reaction products behave, how well they would be confined."      

Harte

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What the hell is an activated fusion product?

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Non-activated fusion product:

Quote

(not doing a huge amount of fusion)

Figure it out from there. Hint - antonym.

Harte

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11 hours ago, Harte said:

Non-activated fusion product:

Figure it out from there. Hint - antonym.

Harte

So you don't know either.

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I love the idea of fusion but it's been decades these experiments have been going on for. My Dad was a maintenance manager on the Taurus at Culham Laboratories, Oxfordshire in the late 80's early 90's, they achieved micro seconds of energy output then, doesn't seem to have moved much further forward in nearly 3 decades.

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12 hours ago, seanjo said:

What the hell is an activated fusion product?

Basically, something made radioactive by neutron activity.....they just don't want to say radioactive material.

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10 hours ago, seanjo said:

So you don't know either.

Tells you right there in the article. As I said.

Harte

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