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Ordinary Meeting: "Nuclear Fusion"

Friday 20th September 2013 - 8:00pm
Topic:  Nuclear Fusion
Speaker:  Dr Mathew Guenette, ANSTO
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Nuclear fusion is a reaction between two light atoms to form a heavier atom and produce large amounts of energy. It is the process which powers the sun, and is a promising next generation energy production solution on Earth, with no greenhouse gas emissions, and a practically limitless fuel supply.

Current fusion experiments produce power at a gain of approximately 1, i.e. it takes the same amount of power to sustain the fusion reaction as it produces. The € 15 billion science megaproject, ITER, is currently under construction in the south of France and aims to make the transition between experimental physics studies to electricity-producing fusion power plant. ITER will be the world’s largest tokamak nuclear fusion reactor and is expected to demonstrate, for the first time, the ability to produce more power from fusion than is required to sustain the reaction, with a goal of producing 500 MW of power from 50 MW of input power.

In this talk I will discuss some of the physics of nuclear fusion, in stars and on earth, and the history and future outlook of the development of nuclear fusion for power generation. I’ll talk about some of the current scientific and engineering challenges still facing fusion power development, as well as some of my own research on plasma-facing materials for fusion applications and other fusion research activities currently being pursued in Australia.

Biography: I completed a B. Sc. (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 2006 with majors in physics and applied mathematics, including a brief stint researching photovoltaics. I then received my PhD from the School of Physics, University of Sydney in 2011, studying plasma deposition of MAX phase materials. Since 2011, I have been researching plasma-facing materials for nuclear fusion applications as a post-doctoral fellow at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Event Date: 
Friday, 20 September, 2013 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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