MIT researchers find a way of producing endless, clean energy.
Since the first splitting of the atom, scientists have been working to produce a way of using nuclear fusion to produce clean energy.
But the results so far have not been up to scratch, a method has never been found to produce enough energy to warrant the process – many of the attempts so far have actually cost more energy than was created.
But scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) think they have cracked it.
They have invented reactors that can withstand enormous amounts of heat, which can produce large amounts of clean energy.
Nuclear fusion works by agitating atoms at very high temperatures which creates friction, the atoms bouncing off each other in turn create more friction, and energy.
The extremely high temperatures needed to complete the process have made it hard for the scientists to find a material that can withstand such heat, until now when they have begun using plasma.
Dr John Wright who worked on the project said:
“These higher energy ranges are in the same range as activated fusion products,” and “To be able to create such energetic ions in a non-activated device — not doing a huge amount of fusion — is beneficial, because we can study how ions with energies comparable to fusion reaction products behave, how well they would be confined.”
The plasma has allowed the researchers to produce the same amount of energy output as before, but with a lot more efficiency.
“In most reactors, the plasma would be made up of just two ion species – deuterium and hydrogen or deuterium and helium-3, with deuterium dominating the mixture by up to 95 per cent. But the new approach uses a fuel made up of three ion species: hydrogen, deuterium, and trace amounts of helium-3.
The scientists focus energy on the helium-3, which heats up too much higher energies because of its smaller fraction of the total density. This allows the plasma to reach the range of activated fusion products.”