Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
This laboratory was an investment under the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. Obviously, many other research institutes around the globe were also researching the same device.
Lu Zhou looked at the list of cooperating research institutes; the list of names was long enough to fill an entire A4 page. If this was like CERN, where everyone involved had their name on the final thesis, then the first few pages of the thesis would be filled with just names.
The stellarator seemed small compared to the research group.
Lu Zhou and Professor Klitzing followed Professor Keribers footsteps. They finally walked into the radiation protected room and saw the Wendelstein 7-X.
It sat quietly in the middle of the radiation protected room; it was 3.5 meters high and 16 meters wide. The stellarator looked like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
It was like it had just been in a battle and was docked in the Star Harbor while it was being fixed by technicians.
Lu Zhou walked closer and could see countless electric cables connecting to various types of equipment. It was all tangled together.
How much is this thing?
Apparently, its over one billion euros, Professor Klitzing said with admiration. If you add in the cost of research, the figure would be astronomical.
The physics community was envious of the funding that the Institute for Plasma Physics had.
On the other hand, the Max Planck Institute for Condensed Matter Physics had a lot less funding.
Klitzing was well aware of this.
After all, this multi-country collaborative project wasnt only funded by Germany, many other countries also participated.
Is it really that expensive?
Lu Zhou gulped.
Before this, he was wondering if he should buy one for research, but now, it seemed that it would be better if he stuck to supercomputers
Fine, who cares about money, we dont have to worry about that, Professor Keriber said as he patted Lu Zhous shoulder. He then added, The final calibrations are done, the experiment is about to start, lets go to the observation room.
This was different than CERN. The Hadron Collider was 100 meters underground, and unless someone was a qualified engineer, they would not be able to enter the pipeline.
The theoretical physicists could only look at data on a computer screen.
But now, the Stellarator was right in front of Lu Zhous eyes.
The staff members were waiting inside the observation room.
Coil tension normal!
Filling in protective gas!
Protective gas is filled, beginning pressure measurement procedure!
Superconducting temperature reached, the circuit is fully charged!
Magnetic field looks normal!
Professor Keriber issued a command.
The moment the magnet current reached 15kA, the thyristor switches quickly switched on and the magnet current was transferred to the first stage energy-consuming resistor, generating 2,400 voltage. This caused the gas in the vacuum chamber to break down, thereby generating plasma.
Lu Zhou could see a layer of reddish membrane material through the screen; it formed a ring around the circular orbit.
He was surprised at how beautiful it was.
The temperature of the plasma will reach hundreds of millions of degrees at its peak. Almost equivalent to the center of a star. No material can stop this energy, Professor Klitzing said while he looked at the screen.
Lu Zhou asked, How does the stellarator do it?
It twists the magnetic field. Professor Klitzing said, We use magnetic fields to constrain the energy, and it keeps them away from the inner walls of the orbit. However, it doesnt last for long
The experiment entered the most critical stage.
The thyristor switched turned off, and the voltage dropped to 1000V. At the same time, the current rose to its peak value, and the entire track was filled with burning light. Lu Zhou felt that his eyes were hurting even though he was looking at it through a screen.
However, this light didnt last for long.
Within a few seconds, the light had vanished.
The stellarator stopped operating, but the people in the observation room began working.
Professor Keriber told his two researchers, Collect the data immediately, check the condition of the equipment, hurry!
At the same time, the door of the radiation protected room opened, and staff members wearing radiation protection suits quickly entered the room with several tools. They began to check the physical conditions of the track.
Lu Zhou looked at Professor Keriber and asked, Its over?
Its over. Professor Keriber threw his hard hat on the table and said, The discharge time was a few seconds, the longest I can remember is six seconds. The shortest is only a few picoseconds.
Lu Zhou was speechless.
I thought it would be more astonishing.
Professor Keriber smiled and said, Theoretically, the discharge time can be longer, but right now, the divertor hasnt been installed. The excessive discharge might cause the head to damage the first wall of materials. Maybe in two years, once the water-cooled divertor has been installed, a 30-minute discharge might be possible.
The discharge timed referred to the time in which the magnetic field could maintain a charge, the so-called pulse time of one discharge.
30 minutes was a goal for the Wendelstein 7-X.
If it were achievable, it would have a huge impact on the nuclear fusion project. It might even change the entire worlds opinion on nuclear fusion engineering.
After all, right now the mainstream choice was the tokamak, but the tokamak reached a bottleneck in terms of its discharge time.
The longest discharged time recorded was Chinas EAST tokamak, with a record of 102 seconds. This was almost at the limit of the tokamaks capabilities.
Lu Zhou looked at the device and began to think.
Suddenly, he had a thought.
How much general points would the system charge for a complete stellarator blueprint?