Nuclear fusion could provide a clean power source, but one of the technological challenges is maintaining the fuel at a high enough temperature for a long enough time. In a technique called inertial confinement fusion (ICF)—where lasers initiate the nuclear reaction—a magnetic field has been shown to improve heating. Now researchers have shown that a magnetic field can also help in a large-scale experiment with a more complicated design that produces far more energy . The applied field increased the fuel’s temperature by 40% and tripled the fusion reaction’s efficiency. The work provides a step toward increasing the robustness and energy output of the fusion reaction and provides the first proof of concept of magnetization-assisted fusion in a large-scale experiment.
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