B New Tokamak D Mode Success - Fusion is Almost Here

  • Thread starter jedishrfu
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https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/physicists-flip-the-d-in-tokamak-get-unexpectedly-good-result/

In the world of fusion physics, two letters say it all: ‘L’ and ‘H’. All the cool kids play with the H-mode, which is hot and fiery and is our best prospect for achieving useable fusion energy. The L-mode, which is neither hot nor fiery, has been largely abandoned. But by changing the shape of the L-mode, researchers have been able to get unexpectedly high pressures. High enough for fusion? Maybe.
I wonder if it'll fit into a Tesla and then we can remake the Back to the Future with a Tesla movie.
 

Borg

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Just 20 more years? :oldwink:
 

LURCH

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I remain steadfast in my belief that fusion reactors will become a reality in 20 years. (From some point in time).
 
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I remain steadfast in my belief that fusion reactors will become a reality in 20 years. (From some point in time).
I think you mean from ANY given point in time. :smile:
 

Nugatory

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In 1973, when I was in high school, a classmate bet me that fusion power was no more than 20 years away.... We grabbed two scraps of paper, wrote down the terms (if in 1993 a commercial fusion power plant was in operation anywhere in the world, I'd send him a money order for $20, and vice versa), signed them, and waited. I found my piece of paper around the turn of the century, didn't bother dunning him for the twenty bucks although I'm sure that he would have paid if I had.
 

sophiecentaur

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That 20 years figure for fusion is like the 40~year figure for the length of life of our oil supplies. But the oil availability idea has been supplanted by the climate disaster prediction. Now the onus is on us. (Pun intended)
 

LURCH

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I spoke out with great scepticism earlier, but I actually do find this news pretty exciting (thanks @jedishrfu for sharing this news). It sounds like a step in the right direction, anyway.
 
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It is an interesting result, but it is unclear how much it will help. It is too late to change the ITER geometry - while it might be able to test this it won't have an optimized geometry for it. If this changed plasma geometry works really well it might be something for DEMO. I don't see how it would speed up that timeline, however. Might make DEMO smaller, cheaper, and therefore a bit faster maybe.

In 1973, when I was in high school, a classmate bet me that fusion power was no more than 20 years away.... We grabbed two scraps of paper, wrote down the terms (if in 1993 a commercial fusion power plant was in operation anywhere in the world, I'd send him a money order for $20, and vice versa), signed them, and waited. I found my piece of paper around the turn of the century, didn't bother dunning him for the twenty bucks although I'm sure that he would have paid if I had.
20 years of funding...
We can't expect miracles if the funding is cut.
 
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What often happens is a poor implementation succeeds enough to be considered a breakthrough, investors flock to it and a better design comes out in the competition to commercialize it or everyone loses their shirt. So far we have a lot of shirts for sale.
 

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