Authors: George Rajna
To understand the fundamental nature of our universe, scientists would like to build particle colliders that accelerate electrons and their antimatter counterparts (positrons) to extreme energies (up to tera electron volts, or TeV).  Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego have demonstrated a new approach for injecting microwaves into a fusion plasma that doubles the efficiency of a critical technique that could have major implications for future fusion reactors.  Most fusion experiments employ either magnetic confinement, which relies on powerful magnetic fields to contain a fusion plasma, or inertial confinement, which uses heat and compression to create the conditions for fusion.  Fusion reactors operate by confining a "soup" of charged particles, known as a plasma, within powerful magnetic fields.  Without this detailed understanding, scientists cannot reliably predict how to effectively heat plasma, affecting the design of fusion facilities and potentially limiting fusion performance in tokamak fusion devices.  A team at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility recently took a different approach to studying these difficult-to-measure particles.  Plasma particle accelerators more powerful than existing machines could help probe some of the outstanding mysteries of our universe, as well as make leaps forward in cancer treatment and security scanning-all in a package that's around a thousandth of the size of current accelerators.  The Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has started to assemble a new facility for revolutionary accelerator technologies that could make future accelerators 100 to 1,000 times smaller and boost their capabilities. 
Comments: 81 Pages.
[v1] 2019-10-21 12:25:47
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