The research group led by Professor Tomohiko Watanabe of Nagoya University, Yasuhiro Idomura, Assistant Professor of the National Institute for Fusion Science, and Assistant Professor Akihiro Ishizawa of the National Institute for Fusion Science is conducting research using the supercomputer "K computer". We have clarified the mechanism of the interaction between the electrons and ions inside.
Nuclear fusion reaction is a method of extracting energy from the nucleus of the atoms that make up a substance.The methods currently used for nuclear power generation generate a lot of radioactive waste because they extract energy by splitting huge nuclei.Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, extracts energy by fusing small nuclei such as hydrogen atoms.This has the advantages of reducing the amount of radioactive waste, extracting more energy, and stopping the reaction when it becomes uncontrollable.On the other hand, it has not been realized yet because it is difficult to cause a reaction.
Among the fusion reaction methods, the method called magnetic confinement has been studied for a long time.It is a method of creating a high temperature of 1 million degrees and fusing atomic nuclei by confining plasma in a narrow furnace using strong magnetism.In order to elucidate this mechanism, it is necessary to investigate how the electrons and ions contained in the plasma interact.However, it is necessary to perform a very large computer simulation to investigate the interaction between a very small electron and a huge ion.The research group succeeded in accurately simulating these by making full use of the high computing performance of the K computer.Great advances in technology for measuring plasma confinement performance can be expected.
With doubts about the continuation of nuclear power generation using fission reactions, fusion reactions may be one answer for humankind to confront energy problems.The results of this research will contribute to the realization of fusion power generation.In this way, "K computer" continues to analyze scientific phenomena in order to connect the future of humankind.
Source:[Japan Atomic Energy Agency] Multi-scale interaction woven by turbulent flow in fusion plasma-New discovery obtained by supercomputer "K computer"-