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How to heat a plasma to 10^8 degrees Celsius

  1. Dec 13, 2015 #1
    Recently, Germany broke headlines when they fired up their nuclear fusion reactor. As I'm sure most everyone on this forum knows this, they plan on creating fusion by heating plasma to absurd temperatures while containing it in a magnetic field. What method do they use to heat the gas and eventually the plasma to those temperatures?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    From https://www.iter.org/mach/Tokamak
  4. Dec 14, 2015 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Wendelstein 7-X is not a tokamak, so it doesn't have a large toroidal current, so the above doesn't quite apply. W7-X is mainly heated by electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) using millimeter scale electromagnetic waves from some antennas.

    In stellarators and tokamaks, the standard ways of heating are:
    *ohmic heating (another name for resistive heating due to the current in the plasma). This is always present in tokamaks but becomes less effective at high temperatures due to the low resistance of the plasma;
    *neutral beam heating. A high energy particle beam is fired into the plasma through a side port and collides with the plasma particles
    *ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH): antenna voltages are oscillated in synch with the cyclotron motion of heavy ions in the plasma. This generates EM waves that can be absorbed by the plasma.
    *electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH or ECH): antenna voltages are oscillated in synch with the cyclotron motion of electrons in the plasma
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