Tokamaks: the future of fusion energy
Fusion is the energy that powers our Sun and other stars. It has been a goal of scientists around the world to harness this process by which the stars “burn” hydrogen into helium (i.e. nuclear fusion) for energy production on Earth since it was discovered in the 1940′s.
Nuclear fusion is the process by which light nuclei fuse together to create a single, heavier nucleus and release energy. Given the correct conditions (such as those found in plasma), nuclei of light elements can smash into each other with enough energy to undergo fusion. The “easiest” (most energetically favorable) fusion reaction occurs between the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. When the nucleus of a deuterium atom crashes into the nucleus of a tritium atom with sufficient energy, a fusion reaction occurs and a huge amount of energy is released, 17.6 million electron volts to be exact.
Why fusion? To put this in terms of energy that we all experience; fusion generates more energy per reaction than any other energy source. A single gram of deuterium/tritium fusion fuel can generate 350 million kJ of energy, nearly 10 million times more energy than from the same amount of fossil fuel!
Fusion power has the potential to provide sufficient energy to satisfy mounting demand, and to do so sustainably, with a relatively small impact on the environment. Nuclear fusion has many potential attractions. Firstly, its hydrogen isotope fuels are relatively abundant – one of the necessary isotopes, deuterium, can be extracted from seawater, while the other fuel, tritium, would be bred from a lithium blanket using neutrons produced in the fusion reaction itself. Furthermore, a fusion reactor would produce virtually no CO2 or atmospheric pollutants, and its other radioactive waste products would be very short-lived compared to those produced by conventional nuclear reactors.
Fusion reactions require so much energy that they must occur with the hydrogen isotopes in this plasma state. Plasma makes up all of the stars, and is the most common form of matter in the visible universe. Since plasmas are made of charged particles every particle can interact with every other particle, even over very long distances. The fact that 99% of the universe is made of plasmas makes studying them very important if we are to understand how the universe works.
How do we create fusion in a laboratory? This is where tokamaks come in. In order for nuclear fusion to occur, the nuclei inside of the plasma must first be extremely hot, like in a star. Unfortunately, no material on Earth can withstand these temperatures so in order to contain a plasma with such high temperatures, we have to be creative. One clever solution is to create a magnetic “bottle” using large magnet coils to capture the plasma and suspend it away from the container’s surfaces. The plasma follows along the magnetic field, suspended away from the walls. This complex combination of magnets used to confine the plasma and the chamber where the plasma is held is known as a tokamak. Tokamaks have a toroidal shape (i.e. they are shaped like a donut) so they have no open ends for plasma to escape. Tokamaks, like the ASDEX Upgrade (pictured above), create and contain the hottest materials in the solar system. The aim of ASDEX Upgrade, the “Axially Symmetric Divertor Experiment”, is to prepare the physics base for ITER.
ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and Latin for “the way” or “the road”) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor. The ITER project aims to make the long-awaited transition from experimental studies of plasma physics to full-scale electricity-producing fusion power plants.
With modifications becoming more commonplace every year, it’s not surprising to see that many people know next to nothing about modifications, but still choose to get them with only the information that everyone knows. So here are some things that you probably didn’t know about modifications. (Like tattoos, piercings, and stretched lobes.)
You cannot get a tattoo when you’re drunk. This is because alcohol causes the blood to thin. When a tattoo gun touches your skin, it creates little cuts. Getting a tattoo while drunk can cause you to lose a lot of blood. Not to mention the fact that it might mess with the quality of the tattoo.
Some inks will react differently to your skin. For example, many people are allergic to red ink. This can cause a rash, which also might mess up the quality of your tattoo. Additionally, yellow ink fades really easily.
Acrylic is a big no no in all piercings. This includes stretched lobes. Acrylic is a bad material to use because it is porous. This means that it’s more likely to carry bacteria, which can really mess up your piercing and make you sick. Additionally, do NOT buy plugs that are made out of polymer clay. This is also extremely porous and can royally jack up your ears. Some good materials are Surgical Steel, Stone, and Glass.
TAPERS ARE NOT JEWELRY. Tapers are a stretching instrument that looks a bit like a cone. While these can be used up to a 2g, some piercers suggest avoiding them completely. Tapers should never be worn for more than a few minutes. This is because they weigh unevenly on your lobes, which can cause a bad stretch, tearing, and blowouts. Alternatively, bondage tape (which you can get at any Spencers) can be used to properly stretch your lobes.
Piercing guns are bad news! They’re completely unsterile, and they can cause serious tissue trauma. A piercing gun basically forces a blunt piece of jewelry through the skin. This causes the skin to rip open to make room for the jewelry. Then it places the jewelry snugly against the skin, giving no room for the piercing to breathe. An actual needle piercing, done by a professional, is much safer and MUCH less painful.
Tattoos are much more sensitive than you think, and they take a lot longer to heal than what people may tell you. First of all, while the pain can go away after a week or two, the tattoo will not be fully healed for at least two months. While healing, you have to keep the tattoo as safe and clean as possible. That means no baths, no tanning, no swimming, etc. You also must lotion it often (don’t over-saturate it) and wash it three times a day. Think of it as any other open wound. You wouldn’t let it get dirty, would you?
Everyone has a different pain tolerance. Asking your friend how much their tattoo or piercing hurt won’t be accurate to you, since you might have a higher or lower pain threshold.
Stretching your lobes is absolutely NOT supposed to be painful. At most, you’re supposed to feel a little pressure, but that’s it. When done right, it is painless. For some reason, people seem to keep saying that stretching is like getting a piercing over and over again, but that is completely untrue. Stretching is literally just that, the stretching of the skin. Additionally, you MUST wait between stretches. You need to give your skin time to relax into the stretch and regain elasticity.
I think this about wraps it up. I hope this was informative. I welcome (correct) additions to this post.
Thanks for making this. Good information here.
We can’t stand puns like this… ;-)
#mucha #owl #inprogress #tattoo #tattoos shading complete. Color next. Thanks @sarahvenger. Great sit.