Covering the cylinder with a magnetic coil tripled its energy output in a nuclear fusion test

إن تغطية الأسطوانة بملف مغناطيسي يضاعف إنتاجها من الطاقة بثلاثة أضعاف في اختبار الاندماج النووي

(a) Schematic of the hohlraum magnetized NIF generated from AuTa4 With solenoid coil to withstand the current. (b) X-ray drive measured with an LEH instrument and incident laser powers for magnetized and non-magnetized AuTa4 hohlraum and two non-magnetic hohlraums. “BF” stands for “BigFoot,” which was the name of the previous ignition design. attributed to him: Physical review letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.195002

A team of researchers working at the National Ignition Facility, part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, found that covering a cylinder containing a small amount of hydrogen fuel with a magnetic coil and firing lasers at it tripled its energy output — another step toward developing nuclear fusion as an energy source.

In their paper published in the journal Physical review lettersthe team, which includes members from several facilities in the US, one in the UK and one in Japan, describes upgrading their setup to allow magnetic coil insertion.

Last year, a team working at the same facility announced that they were closer to achieving ignition in a nuclear fusion test than anyone else yet. Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate their results. Since that time, the team has been revising its original design and looking for ways to improve it.

The original design included the launch of 192 Lasers It’s in a small cylinder that has a tiny ball of hydrogen in its center. This created X-rays that heated the sphere until its atoms began to fuse. Some of the design improvements included changing the size of the holes the laser passed through, but they only resulted in minor changes.

In search of a better solution, the team studied previous research and found several studies that showed, through simulations, that encapsulating a cylinder in a magnetic field should significantly increase the energy production.

Applying the suggestion, the researchers had to modify the cylinder – it was originally made of gold. Placing it in a strong magnetic field would create an electric current strong enough to rip the cylinder apart, so they made a new one from an alloy of gold and tantalum. They also converted the gas from hydrogen to deuterium (another type of hydrogen), and then covered the whole business with Tesla magnetic field using a file. Then they fired lasers. The researchers noticed an immediate improvement – the hot spot on the ball increased by 40% and energy production tripled.

Work is a step towards the ultimate goal – creating a file fusion reactor that can produce more energy than you put into it.

more information:
JD Moody et al., Increased ion temperature and neutron yield observed in indirect D2-capsule-filled magnetized firings at the National Ignition Facility, Physical review letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.195002

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