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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

The jellyfish that got trapped in a fusion machine

-Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

The technique used in the video clip lets fusion researchers view phenomena that cause the plasma's edge to wobble but are not visible with the naked eye—potentially very useful in detecting ''unseen'' plasma instabilities that reduce the confinement of energy in a tokamak. (Click to view larger version...)
The technique used in the video clip lets fusion researchers view phenomena that cause the plasma's edge to wobble but are not visible with the naked eye—potentially very useful in detecting ''unseen'' plasma instabilities that reduce the confinement of energy in a tokamak.
It looks like a jellyfish is trapped inside of a fusion machine. But nature lovers can relax: the video at right is a real—if unusual—record of a plasma experiment inside the spherical MAST tokamak at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE).

In the image on the right side, a MAST plasma is processed with a magnification method called Eulerian Video Magnification. (At left, a normal MAST plasma without the processing applied, for comparison.)

This technique takes a static image, detects small changes in intensity of the light (such as small movements in the images) and amplifies them. It is well suited to footage of tokamak plasmas and has already been used to good effect on MAST.

The "jellyfish" plasma in this clip, produced by CCFE's Thomas O'Gorman, lets fusion researchers view phenomena (a 2,1 tearing mode in this case) which cause the plasma's edge to wobble but are not visible with the naked eye. This is potentially very useful in detecting "unseen" plasma instabilities that reduce the confinement of energy in a tokamak.

So, if you'll pardon the pun, the much-maligned jellyfish could help take the "sting" out of plasma instabilities and propel fusion towards the electricity grid...

View the video on CCFE's website


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