Scientists have published a paper which evaluates an all-new design for a spherical fusion reactor which could, one day, provide us with a source of clean, limitless power.
Nuclear fusion has become something of a ‘holy grail’ technology when it comes to solving our energy crisis. It would effectively involve taking the same process that powers the sun, and recreating it down here on Earth giving us potentially unlimited energy.
To contain the power of the sun you need to create a ‘jar’ within which you can control and sustain the superhot plasma needed to maintain a state of fusion within the reactor.
Current designs for this ‘jar’ are essentially a spherical donut-shaped object within which you suspend the plasma using some of the most powerful magnets on the planet.
It’s incredibly expensive to do and even harder to maintain and so new spherical designs have been developed which can potentially keep the cost down.
These new designs are already being put into practise in the form of two brand-new experimental reactors, the NSTX-U at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and MAST.
These reactors “will push the physics frontier, expand our knowledge of high temperature plasmas, and, if successful, lay the scientific foundation for fusion development paths based on more compact designs,” said PPPL Director Stewart Prager.
The new designs recommended in the paper are more compact allowing for more precise control over the plasma field, while scientists have suggests that the conventional magnets are replaced with superconducting magnets which would in turn allow for increased control.
Stunning Earth Day Pictures 2016:
Welcome your Winter
If you prefer the cold to the heat, then, just like Connor McNally, you will appreciate the first and eagerly-awaited arrival of the winter snow in Tignes, which is captured in this picturesque moment.
Sink or Swim
Check out this GoPro Photo of the Day image of our care-free friend submitted by Dylan Jones, Dot the dolphin, flying through the waves!
Up, Up and Away!
Scared of heights? Then look away now. Kelly Ortel bravely captures a stunning 360 shot of the Na Pali Coastline in Hawaii from outside of a helicopter.
Birthday Girl and her Turtle
Dive in with Nemo, Dory and Crush the sea turtle, to ride the waves, capture every moment and every friend you meet just like Jeremie Tronet did with this stunning image – but try not to get lost!
Take it easy
As the sun hits the navy clouds, Kyle Te-kiwi takes his time to relax in front of the New Zealand sunrise and admire the view with his GoPro.
Here comes the sun
Capture a perfect moment, just like Lane Johnson snapping the Aspen morning sun glowing through the crisp Autumn trees in this captivating image.
Recreate your own Jungle Book
Toot your trunk with Ellie the Elephant and the rest of the bunch in this fun-packed image. Snapped in the jungle, you too could be your very own Mowgli and capture your journey along the way. This incredible image was submitted by Josiah Klakulak.
Who let Curious George out?
If you prefer being up in the sky, swinging from branch to branch, then why not hand your GoPro to the furry friends you meet along the way, just like Martin Karner did with this little guy? Meet George here, monkeying around in Thailand, taking a cheeky selfie to add to his camera roll.
Riding The Wave
With VIP access, Trevor DeHaas secured a permit to allow his cute pup to ride The Wave in Arizona on one of the most beautiful days of the year.
Ride your way to beauty
Forget a competitive cycle, this beautiful image shared by Mitch Cheek shows how cycling solo with eye-capturing scenery of Mount Bromo is always worthy of first place.