Designing the optimal fusion experiment

by Prof. Sophia Henneberg (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik)

Main Auditorium (Max Planck Institute for Physics)

Main Auditorium

Max Planck Institute for Physics

Föhringer Ring 6 80805 München

Fusion is already the main source of energy we use on Earth – via the Sun. An open question is whether or not we can build a fusion reactor to efficiently gain energy. Magnetically confined fusion is one path to obtain fusion on Earth. The most widely studied magnetic fusion device is the tokamak, which is evident in the construction of ITER, an international experiment currently being built in the south of France. ITER’s mission is to prove that we can produce more energy from fusion than we need to sustain the fusion process. An alternative path to the tokamak is the stellarator concept. Stellarator research is less advanced than that of tokamaks, since the confinement of stellarators was historically less successful than that of tokamaks. But now Wendelstein 7-X -- the newest, largest stellarator in the world – has shown that the confinement of stellarators can rival that of tokamaks. In my presentation, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of tokamaks and stellarators, and show a possible way to combine the benefits of both concepts.

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