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Proceedings Paper

Thermonuclear land of plenty
Author(s): P. Gasior
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Paper Abstract

Since the process of energy production in the stars has been identified as the thermonuclear fusion, this mechanism has been proclaimed as a future, extremely modern, reliable and safe for sustaining energetic needs of the humankind. However, the idea itself was rather straightforward and the first attempts to harness thermonuclear reactions have been taken yet in 40s of the twentieth century, it quickly appeared that physical and technical problems of domesticating exotic high temperature medium known as plasma are far from being trivial. Though technical developments as lasers, superconductors or advanced semiconductor electronics and computers gave significant contribution for the development of the thermonuclear fusion reactors, for a very long time their efficient performance was out of reach of technology. Years of the scientific progress brought the conclusions that for the development of the thermonuclear power plants an enormous interdisciplinary effort is needed in many fields of science covering not only plasma physics but also material research, superconductors, lasers, advanced diagnostic systems (e.g. spectroscopy, interferometry, scattering techniques, etc.) with huge amounts of data to be processed, cryogenics, measurement-control systems, automatics, robotics, nanotechnology, etc. Due to the sophistication of the problems with plasma control and plasma material interactions only such a combination of the research effort can give a positive output which can assure the energy needs of our civilization. In this paper the problems of thermonuclear technology are briefly outlined and it is shown why this domain can be a broad field for the experts dealing with electronics, optoelectronics, programming and numerical simulations, who at first glance can have nothing common with the plasma or nuclear physics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 November 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9290, Photonics Applications in Astronomy, Communications, Industry, and High-Energy Physics Experiments 2014, 92902K (25 November 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2075984
Show Author Affiliations
P. Gasior, Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion (Poland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9290:
Photonics Applications in Astronomy, Communications, Industry, and High-Energy Physics Experiments 2014
Ryszard S. Romaniuk, Editor(s)

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