AER507H1: Introduction to Fusion Energy


Nuclear reactions between light elements provide the energy source for the sun and stars. On earth, such reactions could form the basis of an essentially inexhaustible energy resource. In order for the fusion reactions to proceed at a rate suitable for the generation of electricity, the fuels (usually hydrogen) must be heated to temperatures near 100 million Kelvin. At these temperatures, the fuel will exist in the plasma state. This course will cover: (i) the basic physics of fusion, including reaction cross-sections, particle energy distributions, Lawson criterion and radiation balance, (ii) plasma properties including plasma waves, plasma transport, heating and stability, and (iii) fusion plasma confinement methods (magnetic and inertial). Topics will be related to current experimental research in the field.

42.7 (Fall), 42.7 (Winter), 85.4 (Full Year)