Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simple Sandpile Model Helps Solve Problems Of Fusion Power

Date:
February 22, 2001
Source:
University Of Warwick
Summary:
A team of physicists from the University of Warwick, and the EURATOM/UKAEA fusion research programme at the Culham Science Centre, have found a new simple and elegant way of using the science of 'sandpiles' to achieve a clear model of how a fusion plasma 'self organises' itself into a superstable state - a crucial key to power generation from fusion plasma.

A team of physicists from the University of Warwick, and the EURATOM/UKAEA fusion research programme at the Culham Science Centre, have found a new simple and elegant way of using the science of 'sandpiles' to achieve a clear model of how a fusion plasma 'self organises' itself into a superstable state - a crucial key to power generation from fusion plasma.

This result is important because it demonstrates a comparatively simple link between space, astrophysical, and fusion plasmas and their overall confinement properties, and is a clear and welcome example of the unity of physics.

Nuclear fusion harnesses the same processes that generate the sun's energy - plasma fusion. This plasma gas is too hot to be contained by a conventional vessel so magnetic fields, shaped like a US donut (tokamak), are used. Temperatures hotter than the centre of the sun have been sustained for tens of seconds in a plasma volume of tens of cubic metres but the challenge is then to keep this small artificial sun burning and confined in its magnetic bottle.

Intriguingly, fusion plasmas have been found to self organise under certain conditions to give exceptionally good confinement. This superstable 'H mode' is not well understood but may hold the key to creating a stable fusion plasma power generator.

The University of Warwick and the Culham Science Centre team used sandpile modelling, as many other research teams have, on the problem of stable plasma confinement as many have thought that there was a link to self organisation - the ability of complex systems to re- organise internally to choose a preferred state - as it is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature. They found a numerical 'sandpile' that mimics the self organisation of the fusion plasma to its superstable 'H mode' and that 'sandpile' model is simple enough to allow detailed theoretical analysis.

A paper, detailing their success in using this approach will be published in Physical Review Letters, on 19th March 2001. This work was supported at Warwick by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, and at Culham by EURATOM and the DTI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Warwick. "Simple Sandpile Model Helps Solve Problems Of Fusion Power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010222075235.htm>.
University Of Warwick. (2001, February 22). Simple Sandpile Model Helps Solve Problems Of Fusion Power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010222075235.htm
University Of Warwick. "Simple Sandpile Model Helps Solve Problems Of Fusion Power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010222075235.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins