Physics Department Colloquium
50 Years of Fusion Research
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 330 pm)
Speaker: Dale M. Meade, Fusion Innovation Research and Energy, Princeton, NJ
Abstract: Fusion energy research began in the early 1950s as scientists worked to harness the awesome power of the atom for peaceful purposes. There was early optimism for a quick solution for fusion energy as there had been for fission. However, this was soon tempered by reality as the difficulty of producing and confining fusion fuel at temperatures of 100 million degC in the laboratory was appreciated. Fusion research has followed two main paths - inertial confinement fusion and magnetic confinement fusion. Over the past 50 years, there has been remarkable progress with both approaches, and now each has a solid technical foundation that has led to the construction of major facilities that are aimed at demonstrating fusion energy producing plasmas.