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Has power from fusion gone up by 14 orders of magnitude? 
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#1
Apr1205, 01:34 AM

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In this post on the blog of Harvard string theorist Lubos Motl, he writes:



#2
Apr1205, 10:12 AM

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Yes  but that just means we started out a long way away from the goal. When Moti states that we are 2 orders of magnitude away from having fusion  that means a factor of 100 [ 10 to the power of 2 ]. So you need to improve the confinement of plasma by a factor of 100 before you get any where near being able to produce net power. Imagine how much work you have to do to improve something by a factor of 100  it's not insignificant. The fact that we've improved by 14 orders of magnitude shows you just how short the first attempts at producing fusion were. Dr. Gregory Greenman Physicist 


#3
Apr1205, 12:22 PM

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Has progress through the other 14 orders of magnitude been fairly steady, as with "Moore's Law" for computers? Or has it been more a matter of breakthroughs at random intervals?



#4
Apr1205, 01:13 PM

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Has power from fusion gone up by 14 orders of magnitude?
I'd say it was more along the line of breakthroughs. There were early machines that were tori [ doughnuts ] with temporally constant magnetic fields. Such machines won't support a steadystate plasma  the fact that the magnetic field is more intense on the inside of the torus lead to drift and instability. Then there were "stellarators"  a nonplanar figure 8 to address that problem. Then came tokamaks in which the magnetic field is ramped up to provide stability. It was not really a steady evolutionary process  each step required a "breakthrough". Dr. Gregory Greenman Physicist 


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