A news release from MIT announces a breakthrough in the nuclear fusion project operated by Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). They describe the creation of a new 20 tesla magnet made using a new kind of superconducting material that allows for the creation of compact magnetic fields to contain the super-heated plasma in which the fusion reactions take place. Previously such containment could have only been possible in large devices like tokamaks which would have 40 times larger size of this new magnet.
The full article can be read here:
From the news release:
On Sept. 5, for the first time, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field of its kind ever created on Earth. That successful demonstration helps resolve the greatest uncertainty in the quest to build the world’s first fusion power plant that can produce more power than it consumes, according to the project’s leaders at MIT and startup company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS).[ . . .]
Developing the new magnet is seen as the greatest technological hurdle to making that happen; its successful operation now opens the door to demonstrating fusion in a lab on Earth, which has been pursued for decades with limited progress. With the magnet technology now successfully demonstrated, the MIT-CFS collaboration is on track to build the world’s first fusion device that can create and confine a plasma that produces more energy than it consumes. That demonstration device, called SPARC, is targeted for completion in 2025.