Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

Friday, December 02, 2022 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm

DeMeritt Hall - Rm. 240

Speaker:  James J. Connell

Title: Controlled Nuclear Fusion: The basics, and a novel system of converging plasma pistons


Nuclear fusion has been called the Holy Grail of nuclear technology.  It is often said to have has been 40 years in the future for the past 70 years.  Platitudes aside, nuclear power reactors — fission or fusion — produce no direct carbon emission and offer a continuous source of power. Compared to fission, fusion would be a far safer source of nuclear energy while producing vastly less radioactive waste.  That waste would also be shorter lived, so storage until it decays would be far more feasible.  Known reserves of lithium could potentially provide fuel for many thousands of years.  This talk will explore the basics of controlled nuclear fusion for both physicists and non-physicists, and introduce a new approach to magnetic confinement fusion based, in part, on phenomena in space plasmas. The system of converging plasma pistons is only in the concept stage (patent pending), but offers a simpler approach than the currently favored tokamak.  Should it prove feasible, its relative simplicity bodes well for rapid development and commercial viability.

Please contact for zoom link 

Contact Info
Mancini, Michelle