Hundred million degree fluid key to fusion

Monday 7 March 2016

Zhisong Qu, Mathew Hole and Michael Fitzgerald of the Plasma Theory and Modelling group have solved a puzzle of why their million-degree heating beams sometimes fail, and instead destabilise the fusion experiments before energy is generated.

The solution used a new theory based on fluid flow and will help scientists in the quest to create gases with temperatures over a hundred million degrees and harness them to create clean, endless, carbon-free energy with nuclear fusion. 

"This new way of looking at burning plasma physics allowed us to understand this previously impenetrable problem," said Mr Qu, who was the lead author of the paper published in Physical Review Letters.

This breakthrough is another step towards large scale economical fusion energy production.

Read more on ANU News.

Related news stories

In Episode 2 of Megavolts series of videos from the Accelerator Control Room we speak with PhD student Lauren Bezzina about her research into fusion. In Lauren’s experiments, she bombards targets made of heavy elements, like lead and tungsten, and turns them into an even heavier element –...
In Episode 2 of Megavolts series of videos from the Accelerator Control Room we speak with PhD student Lauren Bezzina about her research into...
New measurements of the incredibly fast movement of protons and neutrons whizzing back and forth in nuclear reactions have revealed surprisingly irregular behaviour.  The findings, published in Physical Review Letters, may change the way physicists view the nuclear reactions that are used to create...
New measurements of the incredibly fast movement of protons and neutrons whizzing back and forth in nuclear reactions have revealed surprisingly...
An Australian-led team of physicists have gained new insights into superfluidity by creating sloshing quantum liquids comprised of light and matter, in a bucket formed by lasers. “These quantum fluids are expected to be as wavy as the oceans, but catching clear pictures of the waves is an experimental...
An Australian-led team of physicists have gained new insights into superfluidity by creating sloshing quantum liquids comprised of light and matter,...
Physicists at the Australian National University have developed the most sensitive method ever for measuring the potential energy of an atom (within a hundredth of a decillionth of a joule – or 10-35 joule), and used it to validate one of the most tested theories in physics – quantum electrodynamics...
Physicists at the Australian National University have developed the most sensitive method ever for measuring the potential energy of an atom...

Updated:  17 August 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster