Radar Gun Catches Predator Shredding Turbulence in Fusion Plasma

“Using a new microwave instrument based on the same principles as police radar guns, researchers from UCLA observed the complex interplay between plasma turbulence and plasma flows occurring on the surface of tokamak plasmas,” physorg.com reports. Dr. Lothar Schmitz found that “the turbulent eddies on the surface of the plasma produced surface flows that eventually grow large enough to shred the eddies, turning off the turbulence.” I have no frickin’ clue what ANY of that means or why it may be important. Members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia should consider that a throw-down. Meanwhile, I bet you won’t see this story at thefirearmblog.com. Just sayin’.


  1. avatar JT says:

    I had to go to wikipedia, to see if I could make sense of any of that.


    Yep, still confused. Here’s hoping we have a nuclear physicist in our audience.

  2. avatar KYgunner says:

    A tokamak is a thermonuclear fusion reaction contained within a magnetic field, as the resultant product is too hot for any physical object currently known to withstand.
    My interpretation of the above diagram and article is that they have analyzed and now understand the process that causes instabilities (wild fluctuations in temperature) and hope to use these findings to find a way to make the reaction more stable, and thus more controllable. Implications being that an alternative to current energy sources that has high output of energy could soon be made more safe so that implementation of the technology could be introduced in the near future.

  3. avatar Ronaldo Ignacio says:

    Donuts with sprinkles.

  4. avatar Big John says:

    Finally, a torus worth talking about…

  5. avatar DigDoug says:

    This confirms EXACTLY what I’ve always suspected about the plasma flows occurring on the surface of tokamak plasmas.

  6. avatar Eric S. says:

    Not that I don’t love physics and read New Scientist like the next geek, but isn’t this a gun blog?

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Did you not see the “Radar Gun” in the schematic?

      1. avatar Eric S. says:

        Roger. 😉

  7. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    this is the 1st steps in building a plasma rifle in a 40 watt range…in HD

  8. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    When trying to make a stable fusion of Hydrogen, you need a electro-magnetic bubble to hold the really, really hot Hydrogen plasma. They have found that the plasma ripples but not consistently. Some parts would leak heat while others would be able to hold the heat really well. Then they noticed that it would stabilize on its own for a while and then start to ripple again. One of the scientists tried to compare the movement of the hot and cold(er) areas like hunter and prey. Now they can watch the ripples with radar. Once they figure out what is causing the hydrogen plasma to stabilize, and consistently reproduce it, then they can have clean fusion energy.

    1. Unless the oil companies assassinate everyone involved.

    2. avatar KYgunner says:


      My response was along those lines, but TTAG deemed this spam, and killed my post…. Grrr

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Sorry about that. I’ve rescued and restored it. If this happens again, please ping me directly at [email protected]. Again, sorry for the hassle.

      2. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

        Thanks 🙂

  9. avatar Bryan E says:

    Well, my first question is “how on earth did they get a predator inside of a tokamak anyway?”, followed quickly by “Why on earth did they want to???”

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