Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
While the STAR stellarator machine completely ignited the controllable nuclear fusion field, shocking the entire plasma physics community, Greifswald, which was at the edge of the Baltic Sea, was as calm as always.
The Wendelstein 7-X laboratory was located in this small rural town. The researchers and engineers were going to work on time, doing their usual tasks, just casually drinking coffee, and chatting during their lunch breaks
However, there was more or less a look of depression on everyones face.
Just a few days ago, the newly published paper on Science completely shattered their pride.
For a long time, they were at the forefront of stellarator research.
Even the Princeton PPPL, which invented the stellarator technical route, couldnt keep up with their stellarator research.
However, a few days ago, their lead was completely demolished.
The STAR machine located in Jin Ling City, China, was able to achieve a one hour confinement time on 100 million-degree plasma.
It wasnt an exaggeration to say that not only was this technological breakthrough leaps and bounds ahead of their current research, but this breakthrough was at the cusp of the finishing line.
And the most frustrating thing was the fact that they had no idea how the hell the STAR machine did it
Keriber looked at the paper with a solemn expression on his face.
He had read the thesis in its entirety more than a dozen times.
However, no matter how many times he read it, when he saw the dazzling data, he couldnt help but feel shocked at the implication behind this thesis.
His assistant, Price, was standing next to him. Price took a deep breath and couldnt help but exclaim, I cant believe this How did they do it?
Professor Keriber shook his head. When he placed the thesis on the table, he said, I dont know. If I knew, we wouldnt be so inactive right now.
He was the head of the Wendelstein 7-X laboratory, so average researchers couldnt imagine the amount of pressure he was under.
After all, he was the one that convinced the Max Planck Society and Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres to follow through on selling the WEGA machine.
Even though this wasnt entirely his fault, he promised that all of WEGA machines component technologies were at least two generations behind that of Wendelstein 7-Xs
But even though he still firmly believed in his previous statement, there probably werent a lot of people that trusted him.
Price suddenly began to wonder, and he quietly asked, Maybe they faked it?
Keriber shook his head and said, There are no problems at all in the data. The possibility of them conducting fraud is almost zero.
In a soft voice, Price reminded him, But Professor Lu is a mathematician
What Price really wanted to say was, if a big name Fields Medal winner wanted to create fraudulent data, no one would even be able to tell the difference.
However, Keriber shook his head and spoke in a serious manner.
I trust in his academic reputation. Also, theres no reason for him to do something like this.
Suddenly, a knocking sound was heard at the door, and a researcher walked in.
Professor, the president of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Professor Millek, and Secretary-General Norbert from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is outside.
Professor Keribers body was drained of energy. He sighed and pushed himself up from the office chair.
Understood, Ill go there right now.
Laboratory first floor.
Just as Professor Keriber walked out of the office, he saw a group of people marching into the building.
Professor Keriber looked at the two people leading the group. He cleared his throat and forced a stiff smile on his face.
Professor Millek, Mr. Norbert, welcome to Wendelstein 7-X laboratory What brings you guys here?
Professor Millek didnt smile. Instead, he said with a blank expression, Cut the crap, take me inside.
Professor Keriber was stunned, and he said, Inside?
Inside the Wendelstein 7-X.
Wendelstein 7-X? Sorry, there isnt any experiment planned for today
I dont care if theres an experiment or not. Professor Millek stared at Keriber and said, one word at a time, Take. Me. Inside.
Professor Keriber hesitated for a bit before nodded.
In academia, whoever had control of the research funding was the boss.
This was true in any country.
Professor Keriber didnt feel the best right now. Actually, he felt horrible. However, he still had to bury those negative emotions in his heart.
After all, most of the research funding for the Wendelstein 7-X laboratory was controlled by these two big names.
With Professor Keriber leading the way, the group of people walked into the research institute. They soon arrived at the laboratory in which the Wendelstein 7-X machine was stored.
This medal behemoth was situated in the middle of the laboratory. Professor Millek walked up and personally examined the instrument.
Professor Keriber was confused at his actions, and he asked, Are you satisfied?
Professor Millek took two steps back and nodded. Very good, its still here.
Keriber: What is still here?
Professor Millek stared at Keriber and replied bluntly, I thought you sold all of the components for 500 million.
Keriber had a strange expression on his face.
I dont know why you would think that, but rest assured, because the Wendelstein 7-X doesnt have that kind of capability.
Even though this was frustrating, it was nothing but facts.
An hour-long magnetic confinement experiment would burn their first wall material to ashes.
But if they really tried to replace their outer field coils with the SG-1 material and improve the control scheme, it might be possible.
However, this might sound simple, but it would take a lot of time and resources to actually execute
And now was obviously not a good time to ask for more research funding.
Thats the problem, said the president of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Mr. Norbert looked at Keriber and slowly said, How come the improved WEGA machine, the STAR machine, can do it? How come the Wendelstein 7-X, which you guys spent five years renovating, cant? Maybe Im not being scientific with my words here, but I want to ask, arent these machines born from the same mother?
The few staff standing around couldnt help but chuckle.
Keribers eyebrows twitched, but he still explained patiently, Yes, youre right, their machine is only an improved version of our old WEGA machine. However, I can guarantee that their WEGA machine has been completely remodeled.
The key to their one hour magnetic confinement time isnt our device. Its the superconducting magnets and the control scheme Also some other secrets only they know.
Norbert interrupted Professor Keribers explanation. I didnt come here to listen to you explain your failure.
Weve spent countless billions of euros on you, and youve been beating around the bush for decades. Not only are you far from achieving any type of significant results, but a country that has been terrible at nuclear research has surpassed us. I have to say, this isnt something I like. I need you to catch up to them and give a reasonable explanation to the government and our allies.
Professor Keriber bit the bullet and said, Im doing my best.
Mr. Norbert looked at Professor Keriber. Dont just give me empty promises, I want to see results.
Norbert turned around and walked away while his staff followed him.