My article presents a very promising alternative to the almighty magnetic confinement fusion approach. I have highlighted the strengths, the criticalities and the power of fusion energy with special reference to Inertial Confinement Fusion, a captivating alternative approach to heating for a fusion reaction. Our ever-growing need for clean energy could be solved within a fuel microsphere which is the size of a pinhead
Since the late 1940s, researchers have been using magnetic fields to confine plasmas. Plasma, or the fourth state of matter, is confined by an intense magnetic field. But there are different ways of creating such a plasma. Fusion research in Europe primarily focuses on magnetic confinement fusion (MCF). The fusion experiment, which can be either a tokamak or a stellarator, produces low-density plasma over an extended period with the help of a strong magnetic field.
There is however another approach, the one my research work is looking at. It is called inertial confinement fusion (ICF). In the 1970s, researchers began experimenting with powerful lasers in order to further develop the inertial confinement approach for fusion plasmas. A huge amount of energy is applied to a tiny spherical pellet of deuterium and tritium to generate a very dense plasma of a very short duration. Instead of a magnetic field, the plasma is confined by the inertia of its own mass. In the race for nuclear fusion energy, ICF is worth a mention.