Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fusion scientists

  1. Jun 9, 2006 #1
    Quick question. Are physicists and engineers who work on designing fusion reactors generally well versed in both inertial confinement fusion and magnetic confinement fusion, or are they two separate subfields altogether.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2006 #2

    Tide

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There are substantial differences, obviously, between the two fields but physicists in each of them tend to keep up with developments in the other and have at least a rudimentary knowledge of its technical details. Having said that, it would likely require rather significant effort to jump from research in one to the other. A good engineer could make the transition much more easily, IMO.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2006 #3

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree with Tide - a nuclear engineer studying fusion should be versed in both approaches.

    Magnetic confinement requires a good deal of plasma physics of low density plasmas. The maximum pressure is constrained by the strongest achievable magnetic field.

    Inertial confinement requires knowledge of beam physics, as well as the physics of ablation and compression, which afterall is a special application of thermodynamics/kinematics. The plasma densities are much higher than those achieved in magnetic confinement.

    Morbius has posted some good links to LLNL's program on ICF, but here is another tutorial on ICF - http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/thyd/icf/IFE.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2006
  5. Jun 10, 2006 #4

    Morbius

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Astronuc,

    Here's another good link from the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the
    University of Rochester:

    http://www.lle.rochester.edu/

    http://fsc.lle.rochester.edu/

    As well as some more from LLNL:

    http://www.llnl.gov/pao/WYOP/Fusion_Energy.html

    http://fusion-energy.llnl.gov/

    http://www.llnl.gov/nif/icf/icf.html

    http://www.llnl.gov/str/November01/Tabak.html

    http://www.llnl.gov/str/JanFeb02/Nevins.html

    http://www.llnl.gov/pao/WYOP/Scientists.html

    The last link profiles some of the scientists involved. Some may
    recognize Tammy Jernigan because she is a NASA astronaut:

    http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/jernigan.html

    The "sky's the limit" for a career in science!

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
  6. Jul 15, 2006 #5
    IME, not really, but it will depend on the individual. The group I'm working with is currently designing a new tokamak. While the design of this machine is being done almost entirely from within the group, with some outside help from a couple of other groups with tokamaks similar to what we are looking to build, I have no doubt that we would have almost no idea where to start on designing an ICF system, and certainly no expertise. Most of my knowledge about ICF comes from a NOVA poster that we have up on the wall in our conference room.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2006 #6
    During our plasma lecture today, it was commented how there is some level of rivalry between the magnetic and inertial confinement camps. I was also suprised to be informed that the milestones of fusion research are scarcely recognised outside of the fusion community, even within the plasma community...perhaps it was all those promises of fusion power being available by now.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Fusion scientists
  1. Questions on Fusion (Replies: 28)

  2. Fusion or Fission? (Replies: 16)

  3. Fusion power (Replies: 2)

Loading...