The dream of imitating our Sun: The hopes and prospects for unlimited energy
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This paper follows the historical development of the fusion research, with an ultimate goal to make a fusion power plant. Starting in the 1950`s, the different methods, setbacks and breakthroughs are explained. Fusion occurs in plasma, and initially the knowledge of hot plasma was limited. Several instabilities and other leakages of the plasma to the walls were early identified, leading to a greater task than first assumed. Reasons why the tokamak machine are the preferred setup amongst many possible ways of confining the hot plasma are given. Results from the greatest tokamaks yet, JET, TFTR and JT-60U, are outlined and discussed. The next step towards a fusion power plant is ITER, a bigger and more powerful machine that are being built in France. The specifications and objectives of ITER are given, together with a discussion on the scientific meaning of the expected results. At the end, an overview of different power plant designs will show how the future of fusion depends on what results ITER gives.
Master's thesis in Mathematics and physics