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More precision in nuclear fusion: ALPACA increases efficiency

More precision in nuclear fusion: ALPACA increases efficiency

Until now, this distribution, temperature and reactivity can only be estimated by calculations. On the other hand, ALPACA and the second instrument LLAMA can, for the first time, use the Lyman Alpha line to “see” how high the plasma concentration is in certain areas of the reactor.

This spectral line, which astronomers typically use to search the galaxy for the origins of the universe, can be observed exactly when the electron begins to separate from the nucleus. The alpha line has a wavelength of 121 nanometers, which is within the ultraviolet range.

The device is currently being tested and will next be used in laboratory tokamak. Of course, if plasma can be created in a more controlled and stable way, there is a good chance that the efficiency and duration of fusion reactions will be significantly increased.

There are still only moments when nuclear fusion can occur, as the plasma is not allowed to escape from its containment under any circumstances. Otherwise everything in the way will burn. So being able to control it because you know where a lot of hydrogen is is going to be very important.

Eventually, this technology will also be used at ITER in southern France. Only the commissioning date is still up in the air. But it appears that another of the many steps towards this has been successful.

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