MIT Researchers Propose to Build a Game-Changing Fusion Reactor
Researchers at MIT want to build a compact fusion reactor that could potentially produce near inexhaustible energy by the end of the decade.
MIT announced this week it plans on building a compact fusion reactor called ARC for the purpose of both researching and producing practical fusion power, Kurzweil AI reports. New, commercially available superconductors make the project possible, as they are capable of producing stronger magnetic field coils. This allows for the fusion process to work effectively in a smaller, less expensive reactor than ever before.
"The world’s most powerful planned fusion reactor, a huge device called ITER that is under construction in France, is expected to cost around $40 billion. [Brandon] Sorbom and the MIT team estimate that the new design, about half the diameter of ITER (which was designed before the new superconductors became available), would produce about the same power at a fraction of the cost, in a shorter construction time, and with the same physics."
I guess that's the problem with dedicating yourself to a major project in an industry that innovates at rapid speeds. By the time ITER opens it'll be like last season's iPhone.
ARC holds plenty of promise because, in theory, it should be able to produce three times the amount of energy it takes to keep it running, and as soon as by the end of the decade. The nearly inexhaustible energy source could provide power to over 100,000 people, according to Kurzweil AI. Read on for more information on the project's impressive specs.
Below, in a video interview from five years ago, Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institute determines that the "frustrating" technology of fusion (frustrating because it's taking so long even though we know it should work) will eventually come to fruition.
Photo credit: MIT ARC team
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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