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How the weird and wonderful properties of magnetised laser plasmas could ignite fusion-energy research

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Duration: 0:43:44 | Added: 02 Jun 2023
Archie Bott explains how a promising scheme for fusion relies on a novel feature of hot laser-plasmas: introducing a magnetic field of the correct strength alters the plasma’s fundamental properties in a highly counterintuitive yet beneficial manner.

One key scientific breakthrough of 2022 was the achievement of fusion ignition; using the world’s largest laser facility, physicists created a plasma in which nuclear fusion reactions generated around 50% more energy than the laser energy required to get those reactions going. Arguably the hottest question in laser fusion-energy research right now is how to surpass this result.

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