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Title: Applications of Fusion Energy Sciences Research - Scientific Discoveries and New Technologies Beyond Fusion

Since the 1950s, scientists and engineers in the U.S. and around the world have worked hard to make an elusive goal to be achieved on Earth: harnessing the reaction that fuels the stars, namely fusion. Practical fusion would be a source of energy that is unlimited, safe, environmentally benign, available to all nations and not dependent on climate or the whims of the weather. Significant resources, most notably from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES), have been devoted to pursuing that dream, and significant progress is being made in turning it into a reality. However, that is only part of the story. The process of creating a fusion-based energy supply on Earth has led to technological and scientific achievements of far-reaching impact that touch every aspect of our lives. Those largely unanticipated advances, spanning a wide variety of fields in science and technology, are the focus of this report. There are many synergies between research in plasma physics (the study of charged particles and fluids interacting with self-consistent electric and magnetic fields), high-energy physics, and condensed matter physics dating back many decades. For instance, the formulation of a mathematical theory of solitons, solitary wavesmore » which are seen in everything from plasmas to water waves to Bose-Einstein Condensates, has led to an equal span of applications, including the fields of optics, fluid mechanics and biophysics. Another example, the development of a precise criterion for transition to chaos in Hamiltonian systems, has offered insights into a range of phenomena including planetary orbits, two-person games and changes in the weather. Seven distinct areas of fusion energy sciences were identified and reviewed which have had a recent impact on fields of science, technology and engineering not directly associated with fusion energy: Basic plasma science; Low temperature plasmas; Space and astrophysical plasmas; High energy density laboratory plasmas and inertial fusion energy; Particle accelerator technology; Fusion nuclear science; and Magnetically confined plasmas. Individual sections within the report summarize applications associated with each of these areas. These sections were also informed by a survey that went out to the community, and the subcommittee wishes to thank those who responded, as well as to the national labs and universities that contributed photographs.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
  3. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  4. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  5. Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
  6. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
  7. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1272148
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC) (United States). Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; PLASMA; INERTIAL CONFINEMENT; MAGNETIC CONFINEMENT; THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0065-0273 K; HAMILTONIANS; HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS; CHAOS THEORY; FLUID MECHANICS; ASTROPHYSICS; BIOPHYSICS; SOLITONS; ACCELERATORS; OPTICS; ORBITS; INTERSTELLAR SPACE