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  • Cryolines | Another day, another spool

    Having wedged his body and equipment into the cramped space between the ceiling and the massive pipe, a worker is busy welding two cryolines spools. A few metre [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bearings unveiled

    The construction teams are in the last stages of preparing the Tokamak pit for the first major operation of ITER machine assembly: the lowering of the cryostat [...]

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    While ITER will never breed tritium for its own consumption, it will test breeding blanket concepts—the tools and techniques that designers of future DEMO react [...]

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  • Fusion world | Japan and Europe complete the assembly of JT-60SA

    The JT-60SA fusion experiment in Naka, Japan, is designed to explore advanced plasma physics in support of the operation of ITER and next-phase devices. After s [...]

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  • Manufacturing | Thermal shield milestone in Korea

    Six years after the start of fabrication, Korean contractor SFA has completed the last 40° sector of vacuum vessel thermal shield. The stainless steel panels, c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

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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