Physics at Virginia

"Toward Fusion Energy Production Using Spin-Polarized Nuclear Fuel"

Wilson G Miller , UVA MD-RADL Rad Research
[Host: Xiaochao Zheng]

Thermonuclear fusion of deuterium (D) and tritium (T) in a magnetically confined plasma is the most widely pursued path to large-scale fusion energy production. However, achieving a burning plasma capable of self-sustained energy production remains an elusive goal. The use of spin-polarized fuel could provide a significant boost, as the reaction rate for D + T → α + n increases by 50% if the spins of the reacting nuclei are oriented parallel to each other, and both along the local magnetic field.  A multicenter collaboration including the University of Virginia and Jefferson Lab is working toward the first direct test of spin-polarized fusion in the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego, using the isospin-mirror reaction D + 3He → α + p. This talk will give an overview of our DOE-funded fusion research program, and further describe the cross-grounds work being performed at the UVA Medical School toward optimizing polarized 3He fuel preparation using Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Friday, November 17, 2023
3:30 PM
Clark Hall, Room 107
Note special room.


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