Introduction This report is based on the visit to a cutting edge research facility called the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in a location at Culham. This organization is one of the leading research institutes in the development of experimental activities involving nuclear fusion. It is based outside London whereby United teams of European scientists work together in an aim to produce a long term supply of energy using the nuclear fusion technique.
The main purpose of our visit to this establishment was to clearly identify and describe the science used in this respected research institute. Aspects of Physics Observed During our visit to the facility, there were many aspects of physics used. An example of these physics aspects was the use of a large fusion nuclear reactor called the Joint European Torus (JET). This was a type of high temperature fussing machine of atomic nuclei that released vast amounts of energy.
It was also a magnetically confining machine that actively detained high temperature plasmas using magnetic fields generated by large magnetic coils and also force the plasma into a kind of ring shaped configuration known as a torus. In order for the tokamak equipment to function and to get to the incredible plasma temperature (of about 15 million i?? C and over), large currents with over 1 million amperes were put in and all propelled into the same direction which became all heated up and thus forming a plasma current. The magnetic fields were created using current which was then run in a short like direction around the torus.
The directions of these magnetic fields known as the poloidal direction then came together to form a set of magnetic field lines which also formed a curled or coiled like structure as they twisted around the torus. The created strong magnetic field prevented the high temperature plasma from escaping. Another aspect of physics observed at this research facility was the use of remote handling systems. These were sophisticated robotic mechanisms that work by the use of special real life motion manipulators that mimic the actions of the user’s own arms when put into operation inside the tokamak.
The manipulators provided the subject user with a touch and feel sensation, together with a closed circuit television system actively monitoring the on going processes inside the reactor, created an atmosphere of a sort of virtual reality in actually working inside the Torus. The most basic and common operations that these robotic mechanisms were used for inside the torus was for example to install or upgrade some components of the tokamak, repair damaged components and maintain it’s features daily.
For safety reasons, before these remote handling systems are actually put into JET for systematic operations, they were first put in a mock up trial task whereby this task gave the operator some detailed key skills in operating these remote handling systems effectively and efficiently for the specific tasks on the day of actual JET experiments. Purpose Of Each Aspect Of Physics Used The modern world today demands more energy as this is due to the vast population growth together with new kinds of electrically powered appliances.
It is predicted that the amount of energy used in the world currently is likely to double or triple in the next 50 years to come. Currently the sources of energy we use are: 1. Fossil fuels: These include coal, oil and gas. The two major problems with the use of fossil fuels is the amount of toxic waste products emitted from combusting these fuels and also the fact that it will eventually run out in the next 90 years to come. This makes it a limited source of available energy to use. 2. Renewable energy: Hydro, solar, tidal, biomass and wind power.
The only problem with using renewable energy resources is that although it offers a uniquely safe and clean form of energy without the discharge of harmful greenhouse gases, it tends to give low density energy per generator and requires very huge storage systems and equipment to provide a 24 hour continuous energy process. 3. Nuclear fission power: This consists of a process of splitting atomic nuclei to release large amounts of energy. The only major limitations of using nuclear fission if of it’s safety public concern.